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Basically what happens is after searching for popular keyword phrases in Google this scumware adds a "Related Searches" header and footer just above and below the search results. Each of these actually link to other Google searches.
I believe the way these scums make their money on this one is the "something different" option. This option actually links to a Google search that negatives out a bunch of the related keywords that you were actually searching for and then very often this brings up search results that would more than likely have the typical low life scum/pay per click engine directory style listings.
It was very very well done. I was able to get rid of it by using adaware - so I don't have anymore data for you. However I can tell you that each of these linked to actual Google searhes.
The average person wouldn't even think twice about it.
Do you have a name to associate with it?
No. Looking at the quarantine I see I had at least remnants of Huntbar and Hotbar.
A screen shot anybody?
This is a poor example as the "something different" aren't the normal results you would see. But it does show that all the results are actually driven by google.com.
The thing that finally convinced me it wasn't of google was the fact that after testing the something different link a few times there was absolutely no use for this link except to more than likely bring up sites that are ad/ppc heavy.
Of course, having the mods tell me it was scumware and no one else was talking about this helped convince me too <g>.
Sorry about that HayMeadows. We get quite a few similar-ish reports and it seemed to fit the pattern (though far more subtle).
ciml -> HayMeadows:
I'm quite sure I'd have believed that was Google if I'd seen it.
So, just to be clear. Not scumware; interesting feature being tested.
I changed the link above to an actual snapshot as there were too many dead links in the "live" version due to relative references.
That said, studying the html version I have, I see that the "something different" link actually takes all of the related keywords and runs a negative query based on them (not excluding what you searched for).
I personally am one that knows how to search for what I am looking for. I'm not sure the "something different" link would ever help. Could educate users about negative keywords though.
The related words however could help, but its way too busy at the top. I'd like to see Google keep only the row across the bottom of the results - that is actually the perfect spot for it anyways.