How Google And Other Search Engine Links Could Harm You

When you want to search for anything on the web most likely the first place that you turn to is Google. Sure, there are alternatives out there like Yahoo, Bing, and a few others but, for the most part, the first place people go to is Google. And that is for good reasons. For years, Google has been the number one search option because they were just better than everyone else. They took the search engine game to a new level when they first came out. Plus with the other services they offered such as Gmail and Maps, it was no wonder why people were spending all of their time on Google.

But now that is changing. The other competitors out there are starting to look better than they ever did. They saw what Google did and they made adjustments. You also have to add to that fact that people (“web spammers”) who wanted to make money started to see holes in Google’s algorithm. They saw the holes as something to be exploited. Through these holes they were able to rank junkie sites that were not that good and when people searched for keywords that were highly profitable, they would find nothing but garbage results.


Penguin Update

Recently Google has taken the time to try and fix this problem. They have tweaked their search results many times over the past few months (various “Panda” updates and a “Penguin” update back on the 24th of April).

Now there are a lot of these types of sites not ranking as well as they used to. There have also been some legitimate casualties as well (including yours truly to a degree). A lot of the smaller sites out there are not ranking as well as they used to but overall Google is hitting its intended target. But there is still one big problem that continues to plague the Google search results. And that problem is when the Google search results become contaminated with links that lead people to a site with some sort of malware on it.

Google can only do so much when it comes to scanning a web site to see if there is anything that is wrong with it. While they do detect and warn users about web sites that could be potentially dangerous, these warnings come from reported problems with the site and not through the scanning of the website itself by Google. The people who create malware on these types of websites are careful in how they make them and it is hard to see it either manually or through an automated scan process. This is especially true when you are dealing with scans that have to go through different types of JavaScript and CSS files along with the normal HTML markup that is on the web page.

When you search for a topic and you see the page is listed on Google, you still have to thread carefully when you go to the website. Just because the website is linked to by Google does not mean that the site itself is safe. Google does not create the website and its actual content. It just links to it. There are some people out there who think that Google actually creates all of the content that it links to and that is just not the case.

Overall Google does try the best that it can to make sure that it delivers to you a safe search environment. But there is only so much a company like Google can do. It just gives you the links to the site. It does not create the link itself. That is why you must be careful when you are going to a website linked by Google (or any other search engine for that matter). This is especially true the further pages down the line you go back in Google.

It is also advisable to have some sort of protection against malicious web sites. You can get this through some AV and Internet Security Programs.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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