@Nuno trancoso ... Oki
> Just for kicks, i did a couple of Google searches, stuff like "blank DVD", "drinking glass", "fizzy drinks", "temperature", etc...
Then i downloaded the html/asp/php/whatever pointed to in Google's search results and added up the filesizes. Got results from 800k to 1.25MB. So much for your "few k's". Make that an extra .5MB per search more likely.
I just did the same thing - except I didn't download the files since it's only the output text that's relevant and not any images/multimedia so I copied and pasted the source code - I get an average size of about 250k on badly written sites <100k on well written sites (from an HTML perspective), but of course, the well written sites rely on more files being pulled in (especially css but some js as well) which ups the size somewhat. Probably all told no more than about 500k per page (as you said).
Depending on how deep the LinkScanner scans, which I'd guess is the result page and any css/js it relies on, it could be up to about a half meg per result, yes. So I stand corrected on that - 5meg for a standard "top 10 SERP" may well be an issue.
I still don't think AVG LinkScanner is the end of the Internet as we know it - not the free version that only hits the SERPs. Could be 500 searches to a single games patch... thousands to a DVD image... although 1 SERP being roughly equal to an MP3 is a little scary.
I'm not exactly preaching as an advocate since I'm not regularly using LinkScanner (Opera/FF3 at home), I just think peeps here need to grab some perspective.
Webmasters can limit the impact somewhat by removing large files from the search engines (use robots.txt) or optimising their output code (div/css rather than x-levels of nested tables and removing the code indentation) - 15% hits doesn't have to equal 15% data transfer, it depends where you focus those hits... as I said, when I bothered to check on my personal site I was getting about 15% hits from the old "known" AVG agents but they accounted for almost no data transfer (relatively speaking) because I'd hidden (noindex) the pdf and zip folders from the search engines.
As for users, well it should be made clear about the increase in data transfer and what impact that could have, but ultimately, if they'd rather that than be hit by a drive-by when looking for new pr0n...