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HomeArticlesAssessing and Improving the Safety of Internet Search Engines

Assessing and Improving the Safety of Internet Search Engines

by Benjamin Edelman

AUTHORS' DESCRIPTION

'To compare the safety of search engines’ listings, we compiled 1,394 popular keywords using lists of common searches from Google Zeitgeist, Yahoo!, aol, Lycos, Wordtracker, and other industry sources. Some lists included adult search terms, which we excluded to maintain consistent keyword content. We considered the first five pages of results for each keyword from each of the five biggest search engines: Google, Yahoo!, aol, msn, and Ask.
We analyze search engine results, noting which sites were listed where (by search engine, keyword, page, position) and how they were labeled (organic versus sponsored). We assess the safety of listed sites by consulting SiteAdvisor’s Web safety database. SiteAdvisor is an Internet security company that protects users from hostile web sites by measuring and reporting web site safety. SiteAdvisor safety ratings are based on automated tests that analyze Web sites for exploits, downloads containing spyware, adware, or other unwanted programs, pop ups, links to dangerous sites, and e-mail submission forms.'
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HomeArticlesAssessing and Improving the Safety of Internet Search Engines