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  1. #1
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    Has anyone heard of this and is there any truth to it?

    Smart Tags are a controversial feature in Internet Explorer 6.0 beta that allows Microsoft to place their links in other people's websites (yours and mine). Basically, Microsoft would take over words on our sites and lead traffic away to their sites. This is a threat to affiliate marketing for all involved. Recently, Microsoft announced that Smart Tags will be pulled from the final release of Windows XP and IE6, but Microsoft also said Smart Tags might be resurrected in later versions. Smart Tags will remain a feature of Office XP.

    You can disable Smart Tag recognition in Internet Explorer within your site by adding a Meta tag to your Web pages.

    After adding this tag, Internet Explorer will not dynamically add new Smart Tags to your pages.


    Thanks,
    Nikki

  2. #2
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Internet Explorer 6.0 beta <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Beta is the keyword [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]


    They abandoned the whole thing before releasing the final version of IE 6.0

    [ 08-02-2002: Message edited by: Affiliate ]

  3. #3
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    But, just to be safe, I do add this meta tag at the top of all my pages:

    meta name="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="true"

    [ 08-02-2002: Message edited by: Tracy V Grant ]

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager Lionstail's Avatar
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    It seems strange to me that Microsoft would build software that would insert smart tags and then let publishers bypass them by using a simple meta tag. Wouldn't all publishers just use this metatag? What would be the advantage to Microsoft in that case? It seems like if you're going to steal links, you steal them, you don't give publishers the option of having our links stolen or not, we're not that dumb. Is there something I'm missing? Is there anything that would be desireable such that a publisher would want to let microsoft replace their links? I'm having a hard time coming up with such a scenario. Dave

  5. #5
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    What if a lot of content publishers that don't participate in affiliate marketing don't care? Wouldn't it be to Microsoft's advantage to have smart tags? Then visitors to content sites might click on Microsoft's links and produce income for them without the publisher really being aware of what is going on.

    We're all publishers earning income so we are acutely aware of anybody who might steal our traffic. But what about people who aren't as savvy? Who don't visit forums like this and keep up-to-date on the latest trends?

  6. #6
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    I agree. If they CAN do it why wouldn't they? Think of how many publishers aren't aware of this - many aren't even aware of Gator and whenU doing it. I hope it isn't so - I hope it didn't make it to the final version but how can we know?
    I think this is true of other circumstances too. For example - certain email accounts don't hyperlink - If someone sends a mailing without using html to make a hyperlink - then it isn't clickable in that persons mail so what so they do? Do they type in your whole affiliate link? No they type in the first part (ex. amazon.com) who gets credit - the ISP.

    Nikki

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador
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    6.0 beta was released how many months ago? I thought this was a non-issue.

    You may hear of smart tags from microsft, but they are talking about a system that allows you to tag different office documents together to automatically update information between them. SO an excel spreadsheet in word can be connected by a smart tag.

    Chet

  8. #8
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I hope it didn't make it to the final version but how can we know?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Nikki,

    Don't worry, there are no smart tags in IE 6.0. I've been running 6.0.2600 for several months now, and have never had anything highlighted. MicroSoft backed down to public pressure and removed that feature from the final verison.

  9. #9
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    They may not be in the existing version of IE but Microsot have not ruled out their use in future versions.

    One solution we can all participate in is to try to educate everyone you know away from Microsoft products. Tell them there are other great browsers out there like Opera and Netscape (amongst many more), and point out all of the security flaws that keep coming up with microsoft products (like all the viruses which have successfully attacked microsoft stuff in the past).

    Many people don't know about alternative browsers and email products so it's just a case of a bit of helpful guidance for them.

  10. #10
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    Please don't push people to Netscape. I would rather have microsoft picking change out of my couch, then watch that horrid piece of junk by netscape gain in marketshare. It doesn't even work with half their own javascript examples.

    Chet

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