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Scandoo Not Playing Evil with Google Search Results

Scandoo has launched a McAfee SiteAdvisor like service to prevent you from visiting websites that load spyware on your PC or contain offensive content.

You can type a search query in Scandoo and it will search the web via Yahoo, Google or MSN and adds safety level icons to the search results. A green icon means a clean Web site, a red cross icon if websites contain porn/nudity while a bug means the site carry a spyware/adware or virus threat. The results page are a replica of the actual search engines' result pages.

I searched for XXX on Google using Scandoo and here's a screenshot of the results page - I agree, Scandoo site rating mechanism powered by ScanSafe Web Filtering are just as brilliant as SiteAdvisor though the McAfee service gives lot more details like who's linking, number of users of the site, etc.

Well, another advantage of Scandoo is that while McAfee SiteAdvisor requires a client side installation, Scandoo is completely web based. No download required.

Important Update: The analysis below is due to the fact that I am searching from India while the results are served from Google US pages which can contain Adult Ads. You may choose to skip reading this post entirely from this point onwards. Scandoo is a clean service with good results and poses no threat itself.

But before you jump to search the web using Scandoo and make this site your default homepage, read a more serious threat posed by Scandoo itself.

When you glance at the Scandoo-Google results page for XXX (screenshot below), you will see some Google Ads on the top and the right sidebar . They are clearly marked Sponsored Links and clicking the more sponsored links page takes you to Google Sponsored Search results for that query.

Now before you discard them as Ads put by Google, take a closer look at the ads in the screenshot above - they are ads about Adult Movies and other x-rated sites. How are they appearing on Google Site when Google Adwords/Adsense policies clearly disallow adult content.

That's where Scandoo is trying to play a game with web users. They are actually ads put by Scandoo and disguised to look like authentic Google Ads.

Scandoo writes their mission statement as protect you from viewing offensive content but they are actually bombarding people with links to highly offensive content.

I would therefore discourage Digital Inspiration readers from using Scandoo - They are certainly not playing honest with their service and tricking innoncent users to click on offensive content.

Here's a full page screenshot of Scandoo Search Page with Adult Google Ads lookalike.

More on Scandoo by Narasu Rebbapragada, Erik Larken and Joris Evers.