Google Beats Bing, Yandex & Blekko At Keeping Malware Out Of Search Results [Study]

computer-hacking-malware-featureAbout three years ago, Google was labeled in one study as the “King of Malware.” Things have apparently changed a lot since then. A new study reports that Google is beating its primary search competitors pretty significantly when it comes to keeping malware out of search results.

The 18-month study (PDF), done by a German IT security group called AV-TEST, reviewed more than 40 million web pages — the vast majority (about 38 million) coming from Google, Bing, Yandex and Blekko.

The results:

  • About .0025 percent of Google’s search results were links to malicious websites.
  • Blekko was next-best at about .0067 percent.
  • About .012 percent of Bing’s search results were links to malicious websites — almost five times as many as Google.
  • Even worse was Yandex, with about .024 of its links containing malware — twice as many as Bing, and 10 times as many as Google.

Here are the full results in chart form:


AV-TEST found that news-related search results frequently contained malicious links, due to malware developers’ focusing on breaking news topics and because “users are the least suspicious in such cases and therefore quickly click on the links provided.”

Malware-blocking software averaged a 92.5 percent detection rate in 2012, AV-TEST reports.

(tip via PC Mag)

Postscript, April 12: We’ve published a follow-up article to this story: Yandex Takes Exception To Search Malware Study.

Related Topics: Blekko | Channel: SEO | Google: Security | Google: Web Search | Microsoft: Bing | SEO: Spamming | Top News | Yandex


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • robthespy

    As much as we like to rank on them, you have to admit, Google really has done a lot to improve the quality of the Interwebs.

  • Joost

    Interesting article! One comment: although percentage wise Google did best, I am not sure Blekko would agree Google comes in first place: as Blekko strives for only good results and not ‘as many as possible’, you could argue that in order to judge them you should only look at the amount of sites where malware was found? Then Blekko ranks significantly better than Google. From a user perspective, it would be interesting to know how little malware was found in – say – the first 5 to ten pages for a certain query, as average users hardly ever get beyond that point.

  • Chenzo

    I agree with you Rob – big time!

  • Matt McGee

    Blekko’s smaller index is the reason why I think it’s better to look at percentages than overall numbers.

    And you’re right, it would be interesting to see where the malware was found in the search results. I don’t recall the study giving any indication on that point.

  • Pat Grady

    5x as many… hmmmm… because they can’t, or won’t? If you partner with someone in your distribution network, can you also label them as malware distributors? Somebody study the correlation of these results with whether the identified shatsters are in the busted engine’s own ad dist network… that would be an interesting read.

  • Jonathan Hochman

    The flaw in this whole story is that the underlying statistics are bogus. AV scan is only 30-40% effective at best at detecting malware. What’s proven is that Google is best at detecting the malware on the list of the people doing the study. Yandex might be working from a different source of malware signatures. It could even be the case that there is a correlation between Google’s source of signatures and the study authors; they might be obtaining signatures from the same places. Naturally, they would detect, and miss, the same malware. When Yandex complains about this, I think they have a legitimate gripe.

  • Robin Solanki

    Google has proven again which it is the Search Engine Giant.
    Despite of the other Search Engines in the market which are really good as well, google outranks each in terms of quality and user experience.

  • Ishwor Singh

    Every business has area of improvement and I really appreciate GOOGLE for realizing it 3 years back and must have worked lot on it to come at this position today. Good luck GOOGLE keep ruling Search Engine world :)

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