The Downside of Google Instant

Google Instant will cut 2 to 5 seconds for each search, and possibly much more for longer, more detailed queries. You will see results as you type, helping you get the information you need that much

sooner.  Google says, “In time, we may wonder how search ever worked in any other way.”

As Google improves, so too do efforts to capitalize on searchers’ vulnerabilities. Some experts believe that scareware developers will be able to use Google Instant to create more invasive attacks.

Based on the knowledge that people can read much more quickly than they can type, Google Instant works to predict search queries and provide relevant information even as the searcher is writing. This may present a problem according to some security experts. Websense warns: “This new technology can potentially improve existing Blackhat SEO campaigns. We know for a fact that most Blackhat SEO campaigns automatically query Google’s trending topic results and now it seems that Google Instant will be suggesting those trending phrases (verbatim), potentially putting millions of victims directly in cyber criminals’ cross hairs.”

Malicious results began appearing as soon as Google Instant was launched, often occupying top spots.  While this is nothing new, security experts see it as one that will expand exponentially with Instant. Technical director of Panda Security, Luis Corrons, says, “Google is a very innovative company, and they are always looking for new ways to improve the user experience…there is the risk that cyber criminals are going to abuse this new tools…Users should exercise caution when clicking on unknown links and URLs.”

As with standard search, blackhat SEOs create malicious websites and optimise them with trending topics.  This has become the vehicle of choice for rogue antivirus programs, and Instant’s predictions will help scareware developers target popular search terms.

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