Beware! Yahoo! Search!

Dennis Faas's picture

A few days ago, I reported on McAfee's recent study of the web's riskiest websites. Although just 4% of the Internet is considered plagued by the "risky" site, the danger changes drastically depending on the search term. It seems it may also depend on the search engine, as McAfee has followed up its risky report with one accusing Yahoo of returning the highest percentage of threatening sites.

Like the last survey, McAfee's SiteAdvisor division is behind the analysis. Once a search powerhouse during the web's early days, Yahoo has been more than eclipsed by Google. Aside from more reliable search results, it seems Google returns a more stable pool of websites with every query.

So, how risky is a Yahoo search?

Higher than the web average, it seems. Although SiteAdvisor found just 4% of Internet sites to be "risky", some 5.4% of Yahoo searches turned up these types of scary web pages. On the other end of that spectrum is AOL, which proved best in returning just 2.9% risky sites.

Sponsoring spam, or worse

McAfee continues to warn consumers against sponsored links, which turn up the highest percentage of risky sites. Each and every search will, on average, bring nearly 7% risky sites along the right (sponsored link) side of a page. (Source:

Ask and you shall receive

With McAfee striving to keep users up to date on search threats, the game could already be changing. has recently redesigned its search style, splitting results into three sections: one for refining the term, one with primary matches, and one with city images and other semi-relevant details. (Source:

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