Official: Facebook Not Testing Web Search Box, Says Malware Might Be To Blame

facebook-search-featuredFacebook is not testing a second search box on its website and says anyone who sees such a thing might be the victim of malware or some other kind of third-party app.

Earlier today, an article on All Facebook showed a user-submitted screenshot that included a second search box adjacent to the regular search at the top of Facebook’s user interface. The second box included the text “Search The Web,” prompting much speculation about a possible Facebook-Bing deal and what it would mean for both companies, as well as for Google.

A Facebook spokesperson just sent us this statement via email saying that this is not a Facebook test and is likely caused by some third-party action or tool:

We are not testing the placement of a separate web search field and have no plans to do so. We believe the second search field or “Search the Web” box appeared on peoples’ accounts as the result of unknown actions by a third party targeting the browser (potentially a browser plugin or malware) unrelated to Facebook.

If people think their browser may have been affected by malware, we offer a remediation process which includes a free browser-based virus scanning tool built by McAfee. Users are required to run this Scan and Repair tool and clean their machines of malware before accessing their account.

Facebook added Bing — well, it added Live Search, as it was known then — as its web search provider in 2008, but web search has mostly been marginalized on Facebook since then and not part of the core experience. Despite Facebook’s statement tonight, it’s not far-fetched to think that some increased use of search, perhaps via Bing, may be in the cards at some point in the future.

Postscript: Predicted Media has contacted us saying that the “Search the Web” box that appeared on some users’ Facebook pages is from a product that they offer.

Related Topics: Channel: Social | Facebook | Top News


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.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • sideshost

    I didn’t see anything like this in my facebook, but I will be aware, thank you

  • abdul

    Well, my browser seems to be Ok. May be its just a malware in his browser.

  • Mohammad Neyaz hasan

    facebook will defnitely optimize the search tto see its earl search and not malwares.

  • searchengineman

    The sooner Bing puts a search engine in facebooks walled garden, the more powerful the platform will become. Not to mention the oodles of relevant advertising they can serve. Every minute they don’t have an intergrated search is money lost for FB.


Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide