Posted February 13, 2008 5:13 pm by with 7 comments

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External companies have long kept tabs on the safety of search engine results. McAfee, for one, regularly releases findings on the percentage of search results that bring up malware, adware, malicious iFRAMEs and other such techniques.

Now Google itself is getting in on the act. Last week, they released a PDF report released “All Your iFRAMEs Point to Us.” (Silly Googlers. Can’t even get the joke right. I believe you meant to say “All Your iFRAME Are Point to Us.” You know, like you titled your blog post about it?)

In this report, Google finds that “approximately 1.3% of the incoming search queries to Google’s search engine returned at least one URL labeled as malicious in the results page.” Google finds this troubling; good for them. They should probably work on that, especially if they already know that the individual URLs and TLDs are malicious.

However, I find it rather encouraging. To me, that sentence says “almost 99% of search queries return only perfectly harmless results.” Woot.

The study looks at the intricacies of drive-by downloads and related problems, as well as malware injection via ads. They find that most of the malware originates in and affects computers in China, and that it is frequently found in on-site advertising.

The study checked over 66.5 million URLs and found that 5.1% were “suspicious,” and another 5.1% were malicious. The results are approximately in line with McAfee’s previous findings that 3% to 4% of organic results lead to malicious sites, though the Google study looked at the Internet at large.

  • Hmm, have we had our first “Google infected my computer” lawsuit yet? If not, that’s a good linkbait angle for someone. 😉

  • Zen

    Many times we enter a site by a reffering link and not Google (believe it or not). It’d be cool for the Google Toolbar to have a little icon or a pop-up screen appear each time we surf a hazardous site. At least we would know to get the hell out of there.

  • Pingback: » Google Says Search Results Are Safe From Malware Search Engine Optimization Journal()

  • Thats not bad at all. Its a pretty good percentage.

  • Is this an improvement or a reduction in harmfull search results? Also if they are able to identify these results, what do they do about it?

  • If McAfee can find the data, I would think that Google would be smart enough to weed out malware and not publish those sites in its results.

  • I have a blog that has no malicious software on it, yet the tag in the SERPs remains. We have contacted everyone about it but no help.