Search Google for “Firefox” and you’ll get several advertisements offering Firefox. Most of them link to Google’s toolbar/Firefox combo download (for which Google pays the webmaster for each download). This is shady at best, but not quite the subject of this post. The image in this post shows 5 ads that appeared for me. 2 of them were blocked by Google Desktop as Malware.
Why does Google show ads for sites their own products block as being harmful? It seems obvious that if the site hits any blacklist (phishing, malware) used by a Google product should automatically suspend the campaign.
The other ads are still harmful as a user shouldn’t think they need to get Firefox through a Google toolbar bundle, nor should they think they need to pay for Firefox (as much as $39.95). As for those who serve up their own binaries… Who knows what’s lurking inside.
Is there a need for a Mozilla Genuine Advantage program? Am I the only one who thinks this is a big problem?
For the record, there are unofficial Firefox builds, and quite a few Gecko based browsers that are perfectly legit. What’s wrong here is that these are being branded as “Firefox” and made to look official when in fact they are not.