Author Topic: Google started returning lots of dodgy links?  (Read 898 times)

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Online splin

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Google started returning lots of dodgy links?
« on: October 30, 2019, 06:49:36 pm »
I searched for 'STM32H750 GPIO speed'. On the 2nd page of search results:

[attachimg=1]

Translate didn't work so I tried the link directly and got a 'loading' screen followed by a popup with something like (I can't remember exactly) 'Hey Firefox user...'

By page 8 of the Google search results almost all links were dodgy:

[attachimg=2]

www.virustotal.com detects most of these links as malware, (but usually only flagged by the ESET or Bitdefender engines). Malwarebytes doesn't detect any malware on my PC, so I tried the same search on a tablet in Chrome and got the same results.

So is it a problem with Google? The descriptions in the search results look sensible enough but the URLS don't. I tried a different search term 'FPGA tutorial' which provided far more legitimate links but there were still suspect links a few pages into the results.
 

Offline MT

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Re: Google started returning lots of dodgy links?
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2019, 07:02:04 pm »
Use GIBIRU and you will get entirely different search results. :-+
https://gibiru.com/
 

Online splin

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Re: Google started returning lots of dodgy links?
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2019, 07:16:59 pm »
Use GIBIRU and you will get entirely different search results. :-+
https://gibiru.com/

'This site can't be reached.

gbiru.com refused to connect'
 

Offline bc888

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Re: Google started returning lots of dodgy links?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2019, 07:19:34 pm »


Working in the USA. https://gibiru.com/
 

Offline MT

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Re: Google started returning lots of dodgy links?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2019, 07:29:46 pm »
UK regulations? Its just an search engine!
 

Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: Google started returning lots of dodgy links?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2019, 07:52:34 pm »
If you haven't found what you were looking for on the first page or two, try another search string.  Continue looking at your own peril. :P

What about GPIO speed would you like to know?  Clock speed is in the manual/datasheet or supporting docs.  Risetime isn't usually well documented but it will be typical of other LVCMOS devices (a few ns?).

You probably won't find a web page stating this exact information, right out in the open, because it's buried in those docs.

Tim
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Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Google started returning lots of dodgy links?
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2019, 08:16:21 pm »
Are you sure you haven't been infected by malware injecting results? I've seen this in a browser with seemingly real but odd and junky results. It turns out a dodgy add-in was installed inadvertedly.
 

Online splin

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Re: Google started returning lots of dodgy links?
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2019, 08:21:59 pm »
UK regulations? Its just an search engine!

Hmm, seems to be my ISP, Vodafone.  Works on my mobile on the Three network.

My post was't about Google alternatives though, it was why is Google returning so many malware links? It didn't  use to - is it just me or is everybody seeing similar suspect search results?
 

Online splin

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Re: Google started returning lots of dodgy links?
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2019, 08:24:20 pm »
Are you sure you haven't been infected by malware injecting results? I've seen this in a browser with seemingly real but odd and junky results. It turns out a dodgy add-in was installed inadvertedly.

Google returns the same malware links on my PC,  tablet and mobile. The latter uses a different ISP so very unlikely the issue is at the client end.
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Google started returning lots of dodgy links?
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2019, 10:18:41 pm »
I confirm this link appears in the second Google search page on my desktop machine here.

It's a deceptive link that has several redirections to finally this: (Edit: removed the link as it's adware crap and I don't want anyone to inadvertently click on this and get trapped.)
which seems atrocious and offers to install something. Weirdly enough, this web site is not even spotted by Firefox whereas usually this kind of sites would be marked as unsafe. They must have found a way to bypass the usual detection techniques.

I use several other search engines, and among them, I can also confirm this fishy link is only returned by Google search.

Edit: I also confirm the huge number of crap links returned by the above search string. It's mind-boggling. Google algorithms are supposed to be very advanced, how can they ever index web sites that are deceptive and do not link to any useful content? :palm:
« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 10:35:09 pm by SiliconWizard »
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Google started returning lots of dodgy links?
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2019, 10:34:09 pm »
Quote
https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/6223687?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en&oco=0

Report a problem

    Do a search on Google.
    Scroll down to the bottom of the results page.
    Click Send feedback.
    Enter a description of the issue you're seeing.
    If you want, you can highlight the part of the page you want to send feedback about.
    Click Send.

Report suspicious redirects
To let us know about a suspicious redirect, file a webspam report.

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Online splin

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Re: Google started returning lots of dodgy links?
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2019, 10:49:31 pm »
I confirm this link appears in the second Google search page on my desktop machine here.


Thanks for that. I presume the malware doesn't get detected when Google index the site because it stays dormant. It seems that recent malware only triggers when you follow a Google search link to the infected site and not when you visit the site directly through it's URL. That means that virustotal.com and the like won't necessarily find it - perhaps they need to add a feature to spoof a google link referral to trigger the malware.

Quote
It's a deceptive link that has several redirections to finally this: https://updateplayer.to/
which seems atrocious and offers to install something. Weirdly enough, this web site is not even spotted by Firefox whereas usually this kind of sites would be marked as unsafe. They must have found a way to bypass the usual detection techniques.

I use several other search engines, and among them, I can also confirm this fishy link is only returned by Google search.

You expect to come across a dodgy site now and again but usually when visiting more salubrious parts of the net such as cracked software. My  concern here is the large number of suspect sitres that Google is returning to a simple technical search term. My guess is that the difference here is that there seem to be a number of maleware sites set up which have harvested a ton of content from legitimate sites with the intention that Google indexs it and returns hits to many more ordinary search terms.

It avoids having to hack and compromise other web sites but I wouldn't expect them to last long before they get black listed. (Can I even say that? Is it non-PC?  :scared:)

 

Offline ataradov

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Re: Google started returning lots of dodgy links?
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2019, 10:49:46 pm »
I do see them include more questionable links, but with lower priority than actual results. So if you are on a page with such links, you should probably rethink your request.
Alex
 

Online splin

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Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Google started returning lots of dodgy links?
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2019, 11:19:36 pm »
I use Google search less and less, but still from time to time, and I have indeed noticed a raise in the number of questionable links. It kind of looks like Google is now favoring quantity to quality. Sure the first top links from any search are usually relevant, but then you can have a very long list of really crap links, whereas Google typically used to shorten the list before. Most of the crap comes from sites that "spoof" content in some way, managing to return different information to Google indexing servers than what they serve to a regular web browser. You'd think that Google knows how to avoid this kind of trap by now, it's almost a basic requirement for any search engine...

Although I have absolutely no proof of that, I wonder if this is related to the same kind of "strategic" shift as what they did with Youtube (which wouldn't be all that surprising), now favoring more "diversity" to search results (/ suggestions), thus letting many links slip through (even though of course not at the top ranks), whereas they would just have rejected them in the past.

 

Offline I wanted a rude username

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Re: Google started returning lots of dodgy links?
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2019, 11:29:11 pm »
Use GIBIRU and you will get entirely different search results. :-+
https://gibiru.com/

> Claims to be an "Uncensored Anonymous Proxy Search Engine"
> Every link has an onclick that rewrites the link to a https://www.google.com/url?client=internal-uds-cse&cx=partner-pub-5956360965567042:9380749580 redirect
> MFW


 

Online splin

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Re: Google started returning lots of dodgy links?
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2019, 11:31:03 pm »
I do see them include more questionable links, but with lower priority than actual results. So if you are on a page with such links, you should probably rethink your request.

Not so easy when you are looking for something which you don't expect to find many, if any, answers such as "what is the maximum DMA memory to GPIO read and write speed can an STM32H750 sustain".  For some reason I seem to find that quite a number of my Google searches are like that and might only return 2 or 3 pages of results often with nothing relevant. Searching for obscure obsolete parts is a typical example.

Perhaps I'm not good at getting the best search terms but sometimes it's really difficult such as trying to find a good site that I forgot to bookmark which you last visited a few years ago. Eg. looking for a site where somebody did some long term stability tests of TL431s but it was too long ago to remember any specific search terms or phrases from the site. The site might not even exist now so you end up clicking lots of search results which look remotely possible.

[EDIT] Added 'speed'
« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 11:37:37 pm by splin »
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Google started returning lots of dodgy links?
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2019, 11:31:21 pm »
Sites can serve different content to users than to search engine crawlers. It is called "cloaking" and was quite common in the past but I believe search engines learned to use hidden requesting hosts which cannot be detected as crawlers.

In any case, if they find out they will punish the web site.

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66355?hl=en
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Offline techman-001

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Re: Google started returning lots of dodgy links?
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2019, 11:46:26 pm »
Use GIBIRU and you will get entirely different search results. :-+
https://gibiru.com/

I tested  GIBIRU and lo, what do I find ?

A link  from scribd.com selling my totally free GPL'd Forth documentation site content (below in my sig).

From: https://www.scribd.com/document/397819317/Mecrisp-Forth
"Enjoying this preview? Become a member to read the full title. Join today and read free for 30 days."

 
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Offline amyk

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Re: Google started returning lots of dodgy links?
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2019, 02:28:41 am »
Absolutely idiotic how Google tries to hide the URLs themselves... |O

If you use user-agent of an older browser, it may show the URLs fully:



I have JS turned off and so no malware from that page would run, but I looked at the content and it is definitely spammy.
 

Online splin

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Re: Google started returning lots of dodgy links?
« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2019, 11:30:32 pm »
Ok, a week later and little's changed - Google search is still returning loads of malware links. This for example from page 6 of the search results:

[attachimg=1]

That 'grillpanonline.com › ythcg2 › stm32-can-filter-example' link for example is blocked by Malawarebytes as possibly containing a Trojan. Surprising for such a blue chip, highly respected institution as grillpanonline..   :-DD

Interestingly it seems the synopsis text was lifted from this obscure site:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/microcontrollers/stm32-and-external-active-oscillator/

Anybody know if they're legit or some malevolent underworld conspiracy bent on bring chaos, anarchy and destruction to the online world?

I say little has changed, but one thing that has is that www.virustotal.com no longer seems to detect any of the malign links as suspect. They must have reacted to my email pointing out the issue and stopped it reporting the dodgy links - probably all part of a master villain, who goes under the pseudonym 'Dave Jones' evil plan to take complete control of the internet and all connected computers worldwide!  :-DD

I also reported the problem to Google but obviously they have bigger fish to fry.
 


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