From August 2011 to February 2013, AV-TEST investigated malicious code in approximately 40 million search results from major search engines. The results of their research are now out and show that Google comes out on top, returning only 272 infected web pages in a little over 10 million search results. Although US search engine Blekko returned only 203 malware pages, this was from only 3 million search results.
Results of the AV-TEST study
Microsoft’s Bing, by contrast, delivered 1285 infected web pages – almost five times as many as Google – from a similar number of search results. Bottom of the heap was Russian search engine Yandex, which allowed 3300 malware pages to slip through out of 13 million search results. Given that Google alone delivers two to three billion search results per day, the absolute figures are, according to AV-TEST, enough “to make your head spin”.
The study found that the probability of a web page delivered by Google containing malicious code was 0.0025 per cent, for Bing 0.012 per cent. This is around one bad apple per 8,500 results, compared to one in 40,000 for Google.