Blog for hpHosts, and whatever else I feel like writing about ....

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

IAC Toolbars and Traffic Arbitrage in 2013

Beginning in 2005, I flagged serious problems with IAC/ toolbars -- including installations through security exploits and through bundles that nowhere sought user consent, installations targeting kids, rearranging users' browsers to invite unintended searches, and showing a veritable onslaught of ads. IAC's practices have changed in various respects, but the core remains as I previously described it: IAC's search advertising business exists not to solve a genuine user need or provide users with genuine assistance, but to prey on users who -- through inattention, inexperience, youth, or naivete -- stumble into IAC's properties.

Crucially, IAC remains substantially dependent on Google for monetization of IAC's search services. A rigorous application of Google's existing rules would put a stop to many of IAC's practices, and sensible updated rules -- following the stated objective of Google's existing policies -- would end much of the rest.

In this piece I examine current IAC toolbar installation practices (including targeting kids and soliciting installations when users are attempting to install security updates), the effects of IAC toolbars once installed (including excessive advertising and incomplete uninstall), and IAC's search arbitrage business. I conclude by flagging advertisements with impermissibly large clickable areas (for both toolbars and search arbitrage), and I call on Google to put an end to Ask's practices.

Read more


Misleading marketing: SparkTrust has a go

Malwarebytes Unpacked: Misleading advertising

Comodo replace malware with err - malware?

Twitter spam: IAC WebFetti

IAC: Still not stopping "rogue affiliates"

Mindspark/IAC: Misleading marketing (again)

Misleading marketing: Fake IM advert - Déjà Vu

IAC/MindSpark: Scamming with a twist

Symantec - we knew they weren't trustworthy, but this is a new low

No comments: