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Monday, November 3, 2008

Kick Them All Out!

On the Google Webmaster Central blog, Ben asked why sites with malware aren't removed from search results.

Users often use Google to search for sites they already know about. Urls are hard to remember but users can remember a couple of search terms and use those instead - like "barak obama" or "john mccain". If a user typed either of those queries, they'd expect the candidate's official site to rank near the top. But malware can strike any website: big or small; Democrat or Republican; corporation, government or private citizen. If Google removed the candidate's website from search results, there would be a lot of confused users. (1)

By leaving the website in the search results and placing a warning on it, users can find what they are looking for but know that visiting the website may be dangerous.

(1) I am not suggesting that either candidate's website has ever had malware. It's just an example.

Update: Yes, yes, I misspelled "Barack". Fortunately, Google still finds the right site: http://www.google.com/search?q=barak+obama

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