Saturday, September 02, 2006

SiteAdvisor Fixes Web Site Ranks

A few days ago, McAfee's SiteAdvisor started using a new way to crawl web sites. SiteAdvisor is a new toolbar and service that ranks a web site based on several factors to determine if it is safe. Unfortunately, some of the best antispyware and security sites got a red marking, which means the site is not safe to go to. was one of them.

Tom Coyote is one of the best security and antispyware sits on the web. It seems the web crawler for Siteadvisor was seeing links in Hijackthis logs to bad downloads. For some reason, the crawler did not notice that the downloads were not on Tom Coyote and other security sites like Bluetack. Instead, SiteAdvisor saw the bad download on the security sites that linked to it. Thus, Tom Coyote, Bluetack, and others got a red marking because of bad downloads. You can see on the SiteAdvisor report page for Tom Coyote that it now has a green or safe rating. You can also see many feedback reviews from people complaining about the wrong rating that Coyote got.

It took less than 24 hours for McAfee to undo the error. They do apparently listen to feedback from users and act on it. There is a topic at Spyware Warrior where Ben Edleman, who is on the board of advisors for SiteAdvisor, responds to the problem. There's also some interesting discussion on what makes a site bad and whether SiteAdvisor should rank adult sites as bad.