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Google started rolling out its new Search Generative Experience (SGE) earlier this month, introducing AI-generated search results on some pages. Unfortunately, it seems the new feature has already hit a few hiccups, as reports indicate it may be promoting scam sites and sites pushing malware in its generated responses.

This is, obviously, not a very good look for Google’s AI search results, especially since there has been a lot of question around just how viable Google’s AI is, including the fact that Google won’t put its latest models on the base Pixel 8. Despite those concerns, though, Google continues to push forward with its AI endeavors, and it seems like the misses just won’t stop.

As BleepingComputer reports, Google search results appear to be recommending spammy and malicious sites within its various responses. This makes it much easier for users to fall for scams, especially if Google pushes this to a broader audience with varying levels of familiarity with AI.

In BleepingComputer’s report, they noted that when they tried searching for puppies for sale, they were quickly met with AI-generated responses that pointed them toward spammy sites that could be riddled with malware. When clicking on any of these links, it appeared to redirect the user several times until they reach a scam site. Many of the sites appeared to mimic YouTube push notifications in an attempt to get users to allow the sites to notify them of things. BleedingComputer says that when they subscribed to one of the sites, they began to receive spam with advertisements for tech support scams and fake giveaway pages claiming the user had won something.

It should be noted that while researching this article, I turned on Google’s SGE functionality in Chrome. However, no searches I entered turned up any responses of this type. In fact, all my searches said that they could not generate any AI responses, so it is possible that Google is working to resolve the issue. Still, it’s disappointing to see that it even happened at all, and it speaks to the ongoing struggle that the tech giant is having when it comes to spam and malware-riddled websites. If you want to learn more, I highly suggest reading BleepingComputer’s in-depth analysis, as they provide a lot of great first-hand experience that I, unfortunately, cannot replicate since SGE isn’t spitting out any responses for me.

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