Google Fighting Harmful Sites or Money Making Sites ?

Google search engine | January 31st, 2008 | 3 Comments

This is something that has happened to me recently while I was working on the new design of xhtmlcoding.com, I was in research for some fonts (even tho I love to keep the textual part of the design, including logo, clean and plain text, but if something can be really attractive why not?). The truth is that a blogger (which I won’t mention his blog or his name) that I occasionally read and had it on RSS feed reader blogged about about a “fonts website” and the fact that it has some really cool fonts.

It was apparent that it was a paid review for fawnt.com (it really doesn’t deserve a link), but since I was already working on the design I thought it would be nice to see if there are some cool free fonts that I might like. Despite the weird name the site has I clicked on the link and landed on their first page. The overall design was pleasant and in the main page it had a scrolling window with fonts and examples, so far so good.

The list was short (list of the most clicked 55 fonts), but when surfing for fonts you definitively won’t end up looking at the first page of the fonts but you continue lurking to see what next can be seen. Clicking on their more fonts page I ended in a page full of fonts…and thats when the nightmare starts.

The fonts page of the site fawnt.com started to slowly load and together with the page load a heap of iframes started to load at the bottom of their page, and together with those iframes worms and trojans started to load (Thank you Avast, i Lub ya) and my antivirus Avast alarm got turned on and blocked all the connections and me closed the fawnt.com site and unsubscribed from the guys RSS feed for unethical way of making money blogging (and thats what he deserved honestly).

Later on I decided to report this site on Google and get it removed from the Google index and save many users to get infected from this site before they reach the first page on Google SERPs for “free fonts” (currently they are at page 9 but heading toward). Well surprise surprise, the Google spam report page has the next options to chose for reporting a spam site

  • Hidden text or links
  • Misleading or repeated words
  • Page does not match Google’s description
  • Cloaked page
  • Deceptive redirects
  • Doorway pages
  • Duplicate site or pages
  • Other (specify)

These options made me think, does Google want to keep their index clean and provide safe sites and better search engine experience for Google users or they just want to fight SEO folks? All the options regard Search Engine Optimization and specific SEO misbehavior techniques, and at least at the bottom of the list there is a option “Other (specify)”.

Another search query I performed was looking for a more specific article on Google fighting virus spreading sites and mainly the search was heading to the Google’s Webspam head, Matt Cutts blog. Well all results were heading toward the report of paid links, cloaking sites and everything that is really SEO oriented rather than “safe browsing” experience, it makes me think that SEO’s are more harmful for the web than virus/worm spreaders.

This left me with a strange taste in my mouth, but given the Other (specify) option I could still report the site, but where should I report this bad taste in my mouth?

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3 Responses to “Google Fighting Harmful Sites or Money Making Sites ?”
  1. Catherine L says:

    That’s interesting Astrit. It sounds as though Google don’t care if we get ripped off, or get a virus then.

    Seriously – I wouldn’t report a site again. I reported a competitor for repeating keywords. They weren’t just repeating them in the body of their text – they had line and lines at the bottom or their page with the word plumber and plumber in.

    Well, guess what happened – I was dropped from the front page of Google for a few weeks for all my keyphrases. And they didn’t lose their top place at all on that page!

    So, I wouldn’t bother reporting anything to Google again. I don’t know why they bother asking.

  2. The first question this situation raised to me was “Do they care to keep virus spreading sites out of their index or no?” Because all options were related to SEO techniques (blackhat mainly). It made me think that the only way to get that site removed or penalized from the Google index was to report them as buying links (but heck, thats not the case for that website, but its more serious where people can get infected their machines).

  3. Ray Shaw says:

    i found a site today http://www.zamzar.com that says it supplies a file conversion service from wps to doc format but when i converted a file it came back as a doc but had a virus imbedded in it that was picked up by AVG.THere are links to this site all over the place with referrals to it but it is plain unsafe to use…But now i don’t know what to do with this information!