Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Searchers beware of sponsored links

This article by Michael Hickens reports on a study suggesting that sponsored links associated with search results are more than twice as likely as the search results themselves to take you to a "problem site."

The survey showed that the percentage of "dangerous" sites soared to as much as 72 percent of results for certain risky keywords.

Particularly dangerous keywords include "free screensavers," "bearshare," "kazaa," "download music," and "free games."
Of course, if users become more cautious about clicking on sponsored links, this will undermine the business model where "free" searching is advertiser-supported.

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