Yahoo's SearchScan irks some Web site owners

False positives and errors have some developers seeing red over Yahoo's new security feature.

Released in beta earlier this month, SearchScan culls search results to find possible malicious sites. Users can either choose to have the sites flagged as such or left out of the results altogether.

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The feature is powered by McAfee's SiteAdvisor product. However, since the launch of the beta, there have been a few cases where the feature has made some embarrassing misdetections.

For a period of time, a URL issue mistakenly labeled Google as a malicious site; and in another case, a legitimate coupon site was listed as a spammer. In the case of the coupon site, its CEO said Yahoo failed to move quickly enough to correct the problem.

The site AnyCoupons was first removed by Yahoo at the launch of the product. Owned by 77Blue, it took the company nearly a week and a half and several interactions with McAfee and Yahoo to get their name removed from the list.

To its defense, Yahoo has said the above problems were exactly the reason why it launched in beta rather than as a final product. However, its not known how long it will take for all the sites incorrectly flagged by SearchScan to be manually retested.

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