Banned Searches In Google And MSN

from the you-can't-handle-the-truth! dept

Someone who prefers to remains anonymous writes “Email Battles has noted in the past that some searches are blocked by Google. Now, they’ve uncovered another selection of terms that are verboten at both MSN and Google. Of course Google/MSN have their reasons for blocking these searches, but perhaps a bit of transparency is in order. It would be nice to know what searches the Gatekeepers prevent, and why.” Last month we mentioned the fact that Google was blocking certain searches, though we thought it was a bit odd (and perhaps a tad on the evil side) that they were misleading people into thinking they had a virus for doing a “bad” search. Google employees, however, shrugged it off. The second link is a little more worrisome. The first issue was mostly about Google trying to stop overzealous search engine optimizers (or, in some cases, search engine spammers). It’s understandable that they would want to do that, though it’s questionable as to why they feel the need to erroneously tell perfectly innocent people that they have a virus. The second link from Email Battles suggests that both MSN and Google are blocking specific searches to protect information about certain hacks from getting out. Obviously, that’s silly. It’s a weak attempt at security by obscurity. It won’t stop those who really want to know the hacks from getting the info, but could frustrate plenty of legitimate researchers who may get confused as to why Google and MSN know better than they do what they should be able to search for.


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Comments on “Banned Searches In Google And MSN”

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10 Comments
data64 says:

Understanding the reasons

It won’t stop those who really want to know the hacks from getting the info,

Obviously not. My understanding of the searches blocked by Google is that it was trying to prevent someone from coming up with a list of sites that are vulnerable to a particular new exploit by using google. I guess they wanted to give the vulnerable sites a little time to get their act together.

Mousky (user link) says:

Move along. Nothing to see here.

Your title is misleading and is worded to attract readers to the article. You could have used the words “blocks” or “blocked”. The EB article concludes that everything is back to normal, so the search terms are not “banned” or “verboten”. Sure, Google could work on better wording, but what is wrong with telling people to run a virus checker or spyware remover? If this was digg I would submit this as lame 😉

thebman990 says:

It's happened to me!

A few months ago, I was browsing something on google and I had run several queries several seconds apart. They gave me the “you have a virus” message. I just assumed I had run too many queries too quickly, and (I think) I ran the same search again a few seconds later and It let me through, so I don’t think specific keywords are blocked. They are just trying to keep malware from DoSing them.

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