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live.com – malware?

When looking through my Webalizer stats recently I noticed that *.search.live.com is transferring about four times as much data from my domain than *.google.com. This wouldn’t concern me if I saw some people being referred to my site from live.com, however I see almost none, while google.com is responsible for referring about half the traffic to my site!

Then I looked through the aggregate stats for all web sites hosted on my ISP and noticed that live.com has three times the bandwidth use of google while not showing up in referrals.

I did a couple of test searches with live.com and it seems that one reason why I’m not getting hits is because the search engine just isn’t much good. The search string “bonnie++” does not return any links to my program on the first page (maybe live.com can’t handle a ‘+‘ character).

So I’m now wondering whether there is any reason to permit the live.com servers to use my bandwidth. It’s costing my ISP money for no apparent good cause.

In the past there was a previous MS search engine that I had to block because it’s attacks (which can not be described in any other way) were using half the web bandwidth of the entire ISP). This case is not so obviously an attack and I’m wondering whether I should permit it to continue for a while just in case they end up giving me some useful referrals.

Of course the other possibility is that if we all block their servers then the live.com results will become even more useless than they currently are and they’ll give up on the idea.

I look forward to comments on this issue.

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