Google AutoLink

The Google toolbar v3 (beta) includes a new feature called AutoLink. This essentially means that if it recognises an address, ISBN number, VIN number it can create a link in the HTML you see linking to a map, amazon, or VIN tracking site respectively.

A lot of bloggers are getting upset at this because it changes the webpage.

1. It doesn’t change the webpage, it changes the way that the user with Google Toolbar v3 BETA installed sees the webpage.

2. Surely the issue of changing your webpage is as intrusive as an advert which overlays your webpage and obscures the original content.

3. It’s your choice, if you don’t like the feature switch it off. If you don’t like the Google Toolbar, uninstall it (or use a different browser). Microsoft Word comes with a spell checker switched on by default underlining incorrectly spelt words, however based on the number of badly spelt documents around it seems people switch that feature off without griping!

4. It’s a BETA product. This means that Google are inviting people to download, play and comment on their product before they decide on a final implementation.

5. If the page author had added the links on the page already then Google wouldn’t need to add them! The number of times you visit a page to get an address and then have to go and get a map just because the author didn’t have the foresight…

6. Google is a commercial company, why shouldn’t they make money out of a free piece of software? There are many other toolbars out there from the other big players, get one of those instead.

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