Looking for Mr Goodbar?

I had an unusual experience with Google today. Maybe it’s been happening for a while, and maybe I’ve never noticed it before.

I was in Google, and wanted to know what had happened at the FBR Open last night (I was too tired to stay up and watch). And rather than enter www.pgatour.com into my address bar, I did the lazy thing and entered “pgatour” into the Google search box. And this is what I got in return:

When I saw the “This site may harm your computer” warning for the main PGA site I was bemused, but vaguely prepared to believe that something was up. The site could have been infected with malware, and I guess I should have been grateful that Google was warning me. But I wasn’t convinced, since I wasn’t intending to download anything. So I went ahead and clicked on the link. And this is what I got:

Okay, they did warn me, and when I didn’t heed their warning, they warned me again. Now I was really confused. For those who are interested, this is the url that was showing at the time:

http://www.google.co.uk/interstitial?url=http://www.pgatour.com/

At that point I stopped. Went back to the search results. Looked down the list, beyond all the sites clearly linked with pgatour, and found the Wikipedia entry for the PGA Tour also tarnished with the warning.

I find it implausible that Google should declare so many sites as risky. I find it implausible that just going to that site will ‘harm my computer”. But what do I know?

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8 thoughts on “Looking for Mr Goodbar?”

  1. Stunning brand hiccup for Google. Yet, assuming they resolve the problem swiftly, may actually be a coup rather than an own goal as it may increase user awareness of what Google does “behind the scenes” to protect the browser experience.

  2. I was blissfully unaware of google doing any malware checking; I was even more unaware that whole sites could be classified that way. So I look forward to seeing the explanations as to what really happened.

    One thing is for sure. They handled the load, and brought things back to normal pretty quickly. Which is pretty good, all things considered.

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