HomeWinBuzzer NewsMalicious Sites Sneak into Google's AI-Generated Search Recommendations

Malicious Sites Sneak into Google’s AI-Generated Search Recommendations

Google AI wrongly suggested scammy websites! Fake giveaways and tech support tricks snuck into search results.


recently introduced Search Generative Experience (SGE), designed to enhance search results with AI-generated summaries and site recommendations, has inadvertently been suggesting malicious websites. These sites engage in a variety of fraudulent activities, including fake giveaways and tech support scams. SEO consultant Lily Ray was the first to identify this issue, highlighting the AI's tendency to recommend websites that are part of a coordinated SEO poisoning campaign. These findings have raised concerns about the reliability of AI in filtering out harmful content from search results.

SEO Poisoning Campaign Exposed

Investigations into the issue reveal that the recommended scam sites often share common characteristics, such as the use of the .online top-level domain (TLD) and identical HTML templates. This pattern suggests that these sites are part of a larger SEO poisoning effort, designed to manipulate search engine algorithms and gain unwarranted visibility. Users who visit these sites are typically redirected through multiple pages, eventually landing on platforms that push fake captchas, browser spam subscriptions, or even unwanted Chrome extensions. In some cases, users are misled into subscribing to browser notifications, which then bombard them with further spam and fraudulent advertisements.

Google's Response and User Protection Measures

In response to these findings, Google has stated that it is actively updating its systems and algorithms to better combat spam and protect users from malicious content. The tech giant emphasizes its commitment to keeping spam out of search results and safeguarding the Search Generative Experience with advanced anti-spam measures. Despite these efforts, the dynamic and evolving nature of spam techniques poses a continuous challenge.

For users affected by unwanted browser notification spam, Google provides guidance on how to unsubscribe. This involves accessing the notifications settings in Chrome and manually removing subscriptions to the offending sites. This measure is crucial for preventing further exposure to scam content and maintaining a secure browsing experience.

As AI continues to play a pivotal role in online search, the incident underscores the importance of vigilance and critical evaluation of search results by users. While Google endeavors to refine its algorithms, the sophistication of spam and scam strategies necessitates a cautious approach to interacting with AI-generated content and recommendations.

Last Updated on March 28, 2024 4:37 pm CET by Luke Jones

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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