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  1. #1
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Does Google Get Away With What Microsoft Couldn't?
    Google today launched a new version of its toolbar that employs a new feature called Autolink that turns non-linked content on Web sites into hotlinks back to Google properties and other sites.

    Gary Price writes...

    For example, say your browsing a web page with numerous addresses on it. AutoLink will turn each of those addresses into direct links to the Google Maps database.

    In addition to addresses, it will also add links for ISBNs, package tracking numbers, and vehicle identification numbers. This all has Greg Linden a bit spooked. I agree. How come nobody is crying foul here? Remember all the heat Microsoft took over its planned Smart Tags feature a few years ago? Gary eludes to it, but I think that there should be more discussion here.

    Let's face it, Google is to the Web what Microsoft is to PCs - the operating system everyone uses to search. It has nearly the same lock on consumers' share of mind (sorry Yahoo). And millions use the Google Toolbar.

    They shouldn't get away with what Microsoft was unable to. It's not fair and it shows that no matter what Google does, they can do no wrong in the eyes of the American public - at least for now. Could you imagine the uproar if Microsoft had tried this with the new MSN Toolbar Suite?
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    http://www.webproworld.com/viewtopic.php?t=39582

  2. #2
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I smell lawsuit lawsuit in the near future. Google has been getting hit with a lot of them lately.

  3. #3
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    This kind of technology in any form is a bad idea. I don't care if you use it on your own forum pages to modify someone else's text. THIS IS A BAD IDEA, taking words that were not meant to be ads and making them ads, or taking someone else's ads and making them your own is a bad idea. I just got into this at geekvillage, and steve over there was too short sighted to see the issue, as were many of the publishers. It is scary to see how people don't think and embrace this until it comes home to roost.

    By the way, a link to the original article:
    http://www.micropersuasion.com/2005/..._gets_awa.html

  4. #4
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    I remember when I first heard of SmartTags, I was shocked that Microsoft, or any company, could consider doing something so flat-out evil. Of course, that was before the flood of scumware. We're all less naive now, so Google may think it get away with this simply because people are cynical and used to these things. I think Google's going too far, taking advantage of people's trust in a lot of ways, and it will backfire in the end. I guess we'll see.

  5. #5
    Roll Tide mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    As proavtice as MS seems to be lately, maybe they'll incorporate something in IE7 to block it. There's already an 'opt-out' meta tag to block Smart Tags. I don't think they're going to sit by and let Google accomplish something, with their browser, that they got attacked heavy about.

    Shawn Kerr (.com) | Disney World | SEC Football

  6. #6
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Thumbs down
    so Google is poised to become the next parasite on our list . . . bad, bad.

    I've toyed with coding map links into the cities or addresses on one of my directory sites to help people get directions to those places. I'm assuming those words will be overwritten with this gadget. If those links being overwritten were from a service that also was a merchant for which I might get a commission, I'd be losing money.

    -not- nice

  7. #7
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    This is BAD! And from Google, too! I think HardwareGeek is right--someone will sue.

    But this:

    This kind of technology in any form is a bad idea. I don't care if you use it on your own forum pages to modify someone else's text. THIS IS A BAD IDEA, taking words that were not meant to be ads and making them ads,
    Is going too far the other way. I've got it in my Terms, that I may ad-ify any post. Not that I do ad-ify them (unless it's a spam post that managed to get ranked, that might as well benefit *me* not the spammer), but I made darned sure to give myself the right and keep my options open.

    It's when someone else wants to stick THEIR ads on my pages--without compensation--that I think is pure bull manure.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  8. #8
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    A very big SHAME ON GOOGLE! I guess we won't be able to point to Google's toolbar anymore as a way a software application can be done and done right. ::

    I don't care if they are doing it only to non-linked text. No one has the right to modify another site's web page contents. I don't care if they restrict the linking to only certain types of text. They are using another persons work to whisk an end user away to their site for their own profit. That is not right and will never be right!

    A damn shame that Google toolbar will have to become an application on my list that needs to be tested and monitored.

  9. #9
    Full Member webpartner's Avatar
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    I was afraid something like this would happen as soon
    as I heard that they were going public...

    Private companies can run things any way they wish...
    Publicly traded companies have stockholders to answer to...
    And stockholders always have the mindset...

    "What new thing have you done lately to make us more money?"
    Many a good company has fallen by the wayside by going public...

    Stay on 'em Kellie... I fear that this is just the beginning...

    fwiw
    Bob
    <Font size="1" color="99000">Never doubt anybody's word for anything... but... Always double check everything... - Grandpa</font>

  10. #10
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    Somebody will probably bring suit and bring them back to reality. I don't see this going very far.

  11. #11
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    Yeah, they're not going to get far with this. I installed it last nite and just went looking for pages to see this in action. Went here

    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/boo...25948600&itm=1

    Clicked autolink, then clicked the ISBN which took me to guess where? Amazon

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...58540?v=glance

    They're already working together (A9.com) so this doesn't suprise me.

  12. #12
    Half Crazed Mommy stephfoster's Avatar
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    I certainly hope they come back to reality quickly. Otherwise, I expect to see this "feature" added to a lot of previously legit toolbars.

  13. #13
    Full Member webpartner's Avatar
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    Trust...

    maybe so... but lawyers are very good at stalling things...

    Anyone that challenges this will have to have deep pockets...
    Then they'll have to get a judge to issue a cease and desist order...
    To make goggle stop doing what they're doing... uphill battle...

    Since they've gone public... goggle is swimming in money...
    If they want to fight it... any change will be a long time in coming...

    It could take years before any real decision is made either way...
    In the meantime... they can do a lot of damage... sad...
    How the mighty have fallen...

    jmho... fwiw
    Bob
    <Font size="1" color="99000">Never doubt anybody's word for anything... but... Always double check everything... - Grandpa</font>

  14. #14
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    [/QUOTE]Anyone that challenges this will have to have deep pockets...
    Then they'll have to get a judge to issue a cease and desist order...
    To make goggle stop doing what they're doing... uphill battle...[QUOTE]

    Read: U.S. Government ... but they're slow, of course.

    Google seems so strict against the little guy. It's becoming more and more obvious why that's so.

  15. #15
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    Google is now officially a parasite.

    Look at it this way. You sell books on your website. While on your website, Google's Autolinks direct your user / customer to Amazon. Who gets paid for the sale from Amazon---you or Google? Google of course.

  16. #16
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    Google has definitely bitten off a lot more than it can chew. They have essentially named themselves as "God of the Internet" and will do what they want to do regardless of the effect it has on Internet sites.

    Now think about this.

    What if webmasters and developers didn't allow the Google Bot to search their site? Their stock price would drop like a rock in a pond. Just the mere inference that this was starting to happen would have Google cancel Autolinks.

  17. #17
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I am writing an article about this on my website. I hope its ok if I quote some of you.

    BTW I think this technology can be adapted by google to put text ads in our materials and direct users to other pay sites or searches.

  18. #18
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    HardwareGeek, thanks for the hardest laugh i have gotten this week.

    Sad thing is, the joke is so far above your head, you will never get it.

    I have now officially decided I hate the current state of online advertising, and so many of you can't see the forest in the trees to see how much you are screwing it all up. I just there was a Wayne for this telling us how it was all a good first step, baby steps are needed...

    Chet (banging head on wall...)

  19. #19
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chetf
    This kind of technology in any form is a bad idea. I don't care if you use it on your own forum pages to modify someone else's text. THIS IS A BAD IDEA, taking words that were not meant to be ads and making them ads, or taking someone else's ads and making them your own is a bad idea. I just got into this at geekvillage, and steve over there was too short sighted to see the issue, as were many of the publishers. It is scary to see how people don't think and embrace this until it comes home to roost.

    By the way, a link to the original article:
    http://www.micropersuasion.com/2005/..._gets_awa.html
    Very nice post Chetf! I'm with you!

  20. #20
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Sad thing is, the joke is so far above your head, you will never get it.~Chet (to HG)
    No, the only thing that's sad is that you don't seem to see the difference between contextual advertising that's been authorized by the site owner and parasitic activity.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  21. #21
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    I wonder if there would be some code that we could add to our pages that would
    stop their link creation on our sites. I know TopText was doing this, and
    thiefware.com (http://www.thiefware.com/disabler/css.disable.shtml) had some
    css code we could add to our pages that would stop it. I wonder if the same type
    of thing would work with this.

  22. #22
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    The circle of the Adwhore attack dogs has been completed. Starting with TopText years ago the advertising mindset industry has migrated to the unethical auditrons to pilfer bucks and hijack traffic from any and all sources. Amazon treated affiliates as cannon doffer in the 90's and I pulled all links to them in 1998. Now the Bezo's jump into contextual advertising via Goggle partnership. Look for the other toolbar wanks to follow suit.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  23. #23
    Roll Tide mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    Does anyone have the toolbar with Autolink?

    It's possible to detect if the toolbar is installed, and you can even turn the Pagerank option off (). I wonder if the same thing would work for Autolink.

    Shawn Kerr (.com) | Disney World | SEC Football

  24. #24
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    No leader I do get it, but you are half-way down the slipper slope already. But I guess this is one of those -hey great to do it, but I don't want it done to me.

    The idea that every word, regardless of the context, needs to be monetized is wrong. And If I did not agree to those terms when signing up for a forum, and they started doing that?? No.

    It is real simple, I hold that people's words are their words. If they want to post about their new Dell PC, let them post. If they want to post about their grandmother who just died Topeka Kansas, do you really want to change that city into a link for a fast food chain? Would that be fitting of the author's original intent?

    We have enough ads. Yes we do. Can't we leave people's original thoughts, ideas, expressions out of being a billboard because we are too lazy to come up with a different way to monetize our sites?

    This lazy has pervaded the industry, it is the industry. You have an eyeball? Then you must squeeze every penny out of that eyeball in the short-term, future be damned. Hit them with pops, install software on their system

    Can't think of engaging ads, unique content? Why lets stick some ads in other people's words then, lets cover every single word, punctuation and image with ads - and then ***** about people using ad blockers. Lets give a visitor, or even our regular forum users the worst possible experience we can, because we have no long term goals and only want to cash-in on them in the moment, screw them anyways, we should never respect our visitors...

    Sometimes I really hate to be part of this industry. There is so much short-term thinking going on, we are destroying our own futures. And it does nothing to be singularly respectful, because there will be 20 other guys cashing in for today only ruining it for you. And some people see this, and just cave-in, if everyone else is doing it, why shouldnt I?

    If you took this mindset, and applied it to a brick and mortar store, you would be running a dollar store that not only has the flashing strobe light in the window, but in the store, with ads blaring at 120 decibels on the loudspeaker, and you would be following your few customers around yelling at them to buy this on sale only today low low low prices. And then you would be *****ing about how no one visits your store, how it must be the governments fault, they must have not put in enough parking spaces, it must be your competitors fault, they have too low of prices, it must be someones fault

    Chet

  25. #25
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kellie aka Ms. B
    A very big SHAME ON GOOGLE! I guess we won't be able to point to Google's toolbar anymore as a way a software application can be done and done right. ::

    I don't care if they are doing it only to non-linked text. No one has the right to modify another site's web page contents. I don't care if they restrict the linking to only certain types of text. They are using another persons work to whisk an end user away to their site for their own profit. That is not right and will never be right!

    A damn shame that Google toolbar will have to become an application on my list that needs to be tested and monitored.
    Last year I thought that I was getting too paranoid about giving Google my home address in order to be able to join adsense because they won't take my PO Box.

    The first time I went there to join adsense, I didn't like some of their terms and conditions regarding their privacy policy, but I decided to go for it.

    After I give them all of my personal info on the first page, I went to the second page on where they wanted my address to where I liked to get my payment sent. I put my PO Box and they won't take it, so after I try it again with an street # and the PO Box, they still say no, I say to myself F....G......

    Few months later, I saw many people here saying that they where making a lot of money with adsense and that adsense was very good for those pages on where we got a bad converting merchant and that by putting adsense on those pages at least we will get some money on the way out.

    So I try to join again to see if I can make some extra money, but Google still won't allow me to have my PO Box to get my payments because they want my home address. So at that last time I said, F.... G... again, I don't need that money, I don't trust the privacy policy they have so to hell with the adsense idea. If everybody else send my money to my PO Box, what is so special about Google.

    -----------

    Well, (For better or for worse.) I am glad that some times I trust my guts feelings.

    First: Google started to drop affiliates sites from the search engine.

    Second: Now this.

    Third: I wish all you people luck with the new Google Toolbar and your home address, because if you have adsense, they have all of your personal info and according to their terms... you might be sooner or later.

    I hope that I am wrong, but if some of what I read on this thread happens, don't forget the vaseline.

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