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Ben Hollom - Marketing Director, M2 Bespoke

Ben Hollom – Marketing Director, M2 Bespoke

By Ben Hollom

Just a few days after results from a malware study from German IT security company AV-TEST were announced, Bing has responded to the announcement, which stated that it displayed five times as many malicious links as Google, Search Engine Land informed.

Microsoft´s search engine responded by claiming that the study may have led many users to the wrong conclusion. Bing explained that while there may be occasional malware shown in search results, it is always labelled as potentially infected. However, the company said that AV-TEST did not do any actual searches on bing.com for the study but took into account Bing´s Search API, which does not indicate malware unlike its core search results.

Regarding the frequency at which malware was displayed, Bing said that warnings are added to about 0.04% of searches, suggesting that one in 2,500 search result pages will contain a result with a malware warning on it. A very small proportion of those even get clicked on to trigger the warning, which means that users will only see a malware warning once in every 10,000 searches. The scale of the problem is very small, Bing stated.

Meanwhile, Yandex, which was found to display the biggest number of malicious links in searches, also responded to the study. In an e-mail to Search Engine Land, the company stated that the study was conducted using unclear research principles and methods and asked AV-TEST to specify how they defined malware and whether the study took into account the fact that malicious links were not removed from search results, but users were notified that there were potential risks.