So Yahoo! is getting off its butt at last to warn users when its search engine results include potentially malicious sites. Yahoo! SearchScan, which launches today in beta, is a rebadged version of McAfee SiteAdvisor. This website and browser plug-in pumps out text warnings in red or orange, or gives the all-clear in green, …
SiteAdvisor is a second-rate service; perfect match for a second-rate search engine. When SiteAdvisor wrongly branded one of my Web sites as "dangerous" last year, took 'em more than six months to fix the problem even after they acknowledged their error. I'm not the only one; SiteAdvisor has a sad history of erroneously flagging all kinds of sites, from PC Magazine to tomcoyote.org to LavaSoft, the makers of Ad-Aware, as "dangerous."
But put in a phishing page or a known RBN-associated malware downloader site like sexlookupworld.com, and you'll see "no info."
It is, in short, shamware, which fails at its most basic purpose. A fitting companion to Yahoo, methinks.
OPEN LETTER TO YAHOO from RESEARCH ETC., INC.
May 6, 2008
We are very upset that McAfee has put a flag on our website listing when searched through Yahoo: "Warning: Unsolicited E-mails." This is totally misleading, as when you read McAfee's report explaining this note, they state that they submitted their email to us and it was posted on our site, causing spam from outside sources to be sent to that unique email address. Well, the only way that statement would be true is if they submitted a posting to our Birthline Registry - which has the submitter's permission to post their email address. The registry is provided for adult adoptees or birthparents to post listings in order to contact each other. And so I assume that McAfee made up a fake listing that they submitted, because every listing is read and posted by me, not automatically, and has to have the right information provided.
What a fraud! McAfee has spammed OUR site! I really resent this and also that McAfee has worded their warning to suggest that WE send out unsolicited email if someone contacts us. Please ask McAfee to let us know which is their listing so we can take it off so that it doesn't mislead a sincere adoption searcher. What a mean, underhanded company they are!
Then with further investigation, we noticed that HUNDREDS of websites when searched on Yahoo also have this warning - and they are all legitimate sites that have a guest list that can be signed or are a registry of some sort where people willingly post their emails - this kind of bad press from Yahoo sounds like perfect grounds for a class-action lawsuit!
Yahoo - lose McAfee or you will lose a lot more very quickly.
Please know that I am not trying to down Yahoo, but I see such potential damage to your company from this unfair, Gestapo-like tactic to rate sites.
Judy Friddle Andrews
PS: If I buy some of McAfee’s software, will the warning flag go away on our site in Yahoo’s search engine?