Beware “Deceptive Sites Ahead” is a message you might encounter when you come across some dodgy websites on the Internet. This is because Google has stepped up efforts to stem these sorts of websites.
Stating today, Google has put its foot down and has began warning users when they try to access websites that generally host deceptive social engineering ads and other content.
Blocking Deceptive Sites
Google is blocking these malicious websites through its “Safe Browsing” initiative. Over the years we’ve seen ads that try to trick users into thinking they are something else than what they actually are. Common examples are ads that look like the platform or operating system popup message.
The user then tries to click on the “Ok” button to dismiss the dialog box but ends up clicking on an ad instead.
Another common example is tricking the user into thinking they are clicking on a button to download a resource. The user ends up clicking on an ad.
For quite some time, Google has been blocking traffic to websites notorious for phishing and other ulterior motives. The social engineering content has now been added to the list of shame.
Google announced in this blog post that it will start to penalize websites that collaborate or host this sort of content. Google does it by flagging the offending website. When you try to access the flagged website you end up seeing a bloody red page warning users to stay away.
This has the snowball effect of driving away users and consequently traffic from the offending website. The result is the reverse effect of what was intended in the first place when hosting the tricky and manipulative ads.