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Google’s I’m Feeling Lucky Button Enabling Spam

Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” functionality is apparently enabling a lot of email spam to bypass filters.

I'm Feeling Lucky

When you use the button by entering a keyword phrase and hitting the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button, Google sends you straight to the very first webpage in their results that matches that phrase.

Spammers have apparently found that they can embed links like this one for Natural Search Blog to the Google I’m Feeling Lucky functionality, and their emails will bypass filters that would automatically catch lots of blacklisted and spammy-looking URLs. Email filters allow links to search engine results through because many people may genuinely send such links to one another.

It was just the day before yesterday that I wrote about how a guy was using the I’m Feeling Lucky button to enable some cool linkbait involving Chuck Norris. That was a benign use of the application, whereas using it to obscure links to evil spammy sites would definitely be unethical/black-hat.

So, how will this get fixed? I’d expect that Google may have to lock down their “I’m feeling lucky” functionality so that it only works for users referred directly from the Google homepage, and from the Google Toolbar (if the user has enabled the I’m Feeling Lucky button on the toolbar).

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4 comments for Google’s I’m Feeling Lucky Button Enabling Spam »

  1. MyAvatars 0.2

    This is so true. We wondered why so much spam has been coming in just like you said. Thanks for the post, and search engine land to get this through.

    Comment by H Curtis — 1/30/2008 @ 11:04 pm


  2. MyAvatars 0.2

    Yes, and there’s a lot of this kind of thing in spam e-mails too:

    h ttp: //markovlyudmila4719.blogspot.com/?weepwerzpordeecaspewtkkmijpass

    (warning: redirects to spammer’s porn site)

    h ttp: //geocities.com/deann.rollins/

    (which used to redirect to the spammer’s porn site until Yahoo! blocked it)

    Comment by Jon Dale — 1/31/2008 @ 2:30 pm


  3. MyAvatars 0.2

    The Dewey update has now nailed this

    Comment by Jim — 6/1/2008 @ 8:15 am


  4. MyAvatars 0.2

    This is a funny trick-

    1. go to google.com home page http://google.com

    2. type “Me in 10 Years”

    3. Click the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button

    Comment by Rick D — 2/3/2010 @ 10:56 pm


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