There is a certain kind of site out there that manages to exist through trickery. You go to it, looking for a specific file to download, and there’s a Big! Green! Button! that says “DOWNLOAD” on it in large, friendly letters… except, that’s not the download button you were looking for. The link you were looking for is actually one mostly-hidden line of text. The thing you’ve clicked was actually an ad, and now it’s redirected you and your computer is installing god-knows-what. Oops.
Well now, as Ars Technica reports, Google’s going to help more users avoid sites that post those ads entirely.
As Ars explains, it’s part of the “safe browsing” tech that Google’s been using for years — it’s just expanding. Specifically, the new block is against “deceptive embedded content,” which pretty much translates to “deceptive ads.” So when you search for something, the sites with the shady, misleading ads that claim you need to install a certain kind of plugin, product, or toolbar will now generate a big, red, scary, unfriendly STOP screen instead of leading you to a deceptively cheerful button.
This is a follow-up to a change Google made to search returns back in November, when it started blocking sites that it perceived were using some kind of social engineering attack to get you to reveal information you otherwise wouldn’t.
Google now blocking websites that show fake download buttons [Ars Technica]