BHSEO Reduced in 2011

Julius Sobrier, a researcher with security vendor Zscaler, informed that security experts have observed less black hat search engine optimization (BHSEO) activity in 2011 as the search engines have worked hard to block such attacks, as per the reports by Softpedia on August 29, 2011.

BHSEO, also called as search result poisoning, is a term that refers to the methods used to push harmful pages at the top of search results for targeted keywords.

In 2010, BHSEO plays a crucial role in the circulation of forged antivirus programs (scareware) and generally attacked contemporary topics.

As per Sobrier, in 2011 the misuse of famous keywords has been declined significantly.

Sobrier claims that earlier it was among the first ten pages of search engines for famous terms; almost 90% of the attached links would take the users to a harmful page serving malware. Now, the same sample has nearly three harmful links and almost all of them lead users to pages offering fake AV, as per the news by netsecurity.org on August 29, 2011.

There are several reasons behind this reduction. It appears that not only the hosting firms started working swiftly when it comes to curbing harmful domains, but that webmasters have also begun cleaning their websites more quickly also.

Undoubtedly, Google has contributed greatly in this last change as it has started making webusers aware by displaying alerts in Google Webmaster Tools and sending them mails informing them that their website was hit.

Sobrier added that, but, this does not at all indicate that BHSEO is dead. Harmful search results for famous terms might have reduced to a large extent, however hackers have expanded their area of interest to a broader range of topics and kinds of searches- for example poisoned Google image searches.

Also, the targeted keywords have broaden in scope, ranging from general to popular topics.

Web search results related to software purchases still remains 90% harmful, taking users to rogue online stores. Sobrier stated that generally all of the search engines have been facing.

Related article: Bugs Swell In Browsers in 2006

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