One favourable move from Google is its blocking of websites that use deceptive contents or adds especially those that make you do things that you wouldn’t normally do. Fake buttons that appear right next to the real download button, pop–ups that offer support to remove a million malware infections are some of the primary targets of Google. Rollout will be gradual as it requires time to track and sort out these kind of consistent offenders.
Google’s Safe Browsing tech takes up this task of blocking. It isn’t a new arrival but that big red interstitial that appears when you click on a tricky search result. A major limitation of Safe Browsing tech was that it could just prevent you from visiting sites that were serving up malware, or sites that Google had found unsafe.
The whole business started in November with Google blocking sites that use “social engineering attacks” to get you to uninstall unwanted software or reveal sensitive information. Today, Google is keen on tracking websites that serve deceptive embedded content (i.e. adverts).
Big download sites like CNET and Sourceforge are likely to be hit as they regularly have a fake button on real download pages.
Webmasters will definitely have a tough time working on this. Hosting deceptive content on your site is one thing, but deceptive third- party content served by random ad servers is a little harder to police. Google’s webmaster knowledge base doesn’t offer much help, except to note that “ad networks may rotate the ads shown on your site’s pages. You therefore might need to refresh a page a few times before you’re able to see any social engineering ads appear”.
But for the above big shots, this will be a very welcome change. Even in shifting usage patterns Google has retained its position. Billions of website clicks per day makes the websites completely dependent on Google traffic to move on.
A worthy act, this could be the beginning of the end for fake download buttons.