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Larilyn’s Tip of the Week: Google Search Results

We all use Google, right? For everything from the best chocolate cake recipe to which is the best microwave/dishwasher combo to buy (there’s a chance that might not be a thing).

Did you know that there are companies who pay for their name to come up in a Google search? It is pretty much guaranteed that when you search a topic, you will see sponsored results pop up among your legitimate results. This probably isn’t the most harmful thing most of the time, but it’s something important to be aware of.

For example, if I’m searching for that best chocolate cake recipe, it doesn’t matter that ten or eleven sites down on the list, there is a sponsored link from Kraft (you can tell it’s sponsored because of the ad box on the left). I might look at their recipe, I might not. Either way, no harm, no foul.

However, if I’m having issues with my Mac computer, and I can’t find the number to the local Apple store (why you wouldn’t call US is beyond me), I might google Apple tech support. And look at what is the very first result:

A link to a company with no affiliation to Apple whatsoever. Could possibly still be harmless, but it could also be a Phisher just waiting for a bite from someone willing to pay any price to get their computer back up and running.

So keep this in mind the next time you’re Googling!

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