Search Results Getting Safer

McAfee's SiteAdvisor monitors the changes in search results and measures the level of what they call "dangerous" sites in all the major engines. Over the last six months AOL, Google and Ask have shown a decrease in "dangerous" sites, while Yahoo! and Microsoft have shown an increase.

The "dangerous" sites are those that have malware or spam. In May 2006 about 5% of all search results contained these elements, according to SiteAdvisor.

In their recent study they had found AOL, Google and Ask to have decreased their search results of such elements.

The same searches, last month, linked to 12% fewer sites judged risky by SiteAdvisor.The five search engines had 4.4% of their results tagged with red or yellow warnings by SiteAdvisor.

Chris Dixon, SiteAdvisor's director of strategy, said "when almost one of 12 sponsored links still clicks through to a risky site, there remains significant room for continued improvement."

The November report
is available at SiteAdvisor. McAfee has been very thorough and the report is worth reading.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.