Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Google Toolbar Auto-Link controversy

 Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/meshel/archive/2005/02/23/24196.aspx


A variaty of people (tons of them actually) have published some comment on this feature... You can finc them on any search engine by now, and among them...

A few threads on ThreadWatch.com: Google pulling Smart Tags Caper with Toolbar

Dan Gilmore: Google Emulates Microsoft, Uh Oh

And DG:  Brand Loyalty and Google

Anyway, I think the feature is great - well almost...

I had a slightly different experience with it than most people seem to have have, AND I have a feeling that if this was how Google implemented it, most of the controversy would have been avoided.

Let me say just this before, I don't like smart tags. And I agree with the people who think this is the correct way for Google to go, IF they want to lose me as a customer.

The way I tested AutoLink is by going to a web site with an address (I first tested on my company website http://www.interwise.com) and then instead of looking at what it did with the address on the bottom (I didn't even notice that it re-wrote the HTML) I looked at the options opened up when I clicked the down arrow in the toolbar itself. That gave me an option to lookup a map to the address (I already wrote about that here)... Now that in my eyes is a very usefull feature and also not too invasive or problematic... The toolbar informs you that it found something that might be of use for you (or not) and allows you a quick link to it - from the toolbar menu itself. That's what I liked about it - User controll. Google, disable the autolinking on the page.... That sucks!

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