Google Search Page Looking Different on PC or Mac? You May Have Downloaded an AdWare

Do you use Google Chrome? And the Google search results page looks different when you search Google?

Here is what I’m talking

For the past couple of days, I havebeen seen an unusual search result page where the first few results are just ads.

There is an address tag on the top right-hand side, and every time I search, the top results are coming from the same URL in that is in.downloadsearch.cnet.com. 

It could be because my location is India, any your case it might be something else, like uk.downloadsearch.cnet.

It might be anything but the fact is it is an unusual search result, and it is not coming from Google.

How did it get installed?

Mostly, when we download something from the internet, the software package has hidden it somewhere between Accepting terms & condition, to accepting ‘to make the software default’ on your PC, an ‘Accept button’ which also installs something else on the Computer.

And most likely it is an Adware, whose aim is to make money by showing ads any way it can.

How to get rid of it?

The first place to look out when search results are defended is the search engine. In my case, the search engine was still Google

You can check it by going to the settings area of Google Chrome and then go into the section search engine. It should be Google. You can also click on manage search engines and give the list of all the search engines available.

Usually, it’s Yahoo, Bing, Google, but there is something else you can remove it from the list.

The other place to look for Adware injection is the Google Chrome extension. Which again can be accessed from the settings area.

On the Settings page, in the left sidebar, you will find the extensions option, clicking it will open the list of all the Chrome extensions installed in your Chrome browser.

Go through each one of them to find the one you didn’t install yourself.

Most likely it will be something related to search, like this Chrome extension called Search manager.

The Chrome extension has got around 900 thousand users, three-star ratings, and reviews from only 70 people, at the time of writing this article.

Everyone is complaining that they haven’t installed the Chrome Extension and it was installed without their permission or approval.

One of the reviews says that it was added via FileZilla and it seems the case for myself as well since I updated the FileZilla app on my MacBook.

So, I removed the Chrome Extension and the problem was solved.

If you still see it appear, you might have to clear cookies from your browser for it to stop appearing. You can eaither Clear browsing data from More tool area in Chrome Settings, or you can use CCleaner, to to the Options section from the sidebar and select Cookies.

Then search for the website, (in my case, it was in.downloadsearch.cnet.com), it will appear and you can right click and relete the cookie.

How to Secure Yourself in Future?

I was not paying full attention while the FileZilla app was being installed, and after that installation, I had a feeling that the installation process asked me to Install something else and I just approved it in the flow.

So it is very crucial for you to carefully see what all permissions software ask when you install it. And say no to the ones that you do not want.

I hope you find this article useful you can share it with other people to let them know how they can fix this weird issue.