Creating a Search Engine that cancels out all malicious results is near-impossible, but which search engine is currently doing a better job of keeping our machines squeaky clean?
Independent German testing lab AV-Test recently undertook an 18 month project to determine which search engines gave out malicious links in their top results.
Google and Bing were both tested in the study, in addition to Russian operator Yandex and Blekko, a search engine which claims to provide better search results than Google, excluding content farms and other sites. Across the 40 million different sites that were tested across the 4 engines, 5000 potentially harmful links were found. Whilst this may seem like a very small amount at first, once you consider the fact that Google alone has 2-3 billion search queries per day it’s a different story.
- 10,912,207 Google results tested, with 272 malware results (0.0025%, or around 1 in 40000)
- 10,958,884 Bing results tested, with 1,285 malware results (0.0117% or around 1 in 8525)
- 13,690,659 Yandex results tested, with 3,330 malware results (0.0243% or around 1 in 4111)
- 3,007,975 Blekko results tested, with 203 malware results (0.0067% or around 1 in 14817)
Google is clearly the Winner here, with Blekko not far behind, however indexing less results that other search engines is bound to reduce the number of malicious sites. Bing however produces nearly 5 times the amount of malicious results and Yandex even worse with more than double the malicious results than Bing.
Granted, all of these companies work hard to keep malicious results from appearing, a whole lot more are blocked than the amount that actually squeeze through. However, the report also shows that most of the malicious sites allowed through by Bing are done so through crude SEO techniques, making their own small blog network and spamming them with backlinks for the malicious sites.