Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Google Toolbar Auto-Link controversy

 Originally posted on:

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 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 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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