Google AutoLink upsets site-owners

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KGP
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Google AutoLink upsets site-owners

Δημοσίευση από KGP » 18 Απρ 2005 19:08

Google AutoLink upsets site-owners

A new Google AutoLink feature - http://toolbar.google.com/T3/index -for browsers, allowing visitors to one website to jump to a competitor, has been criticised by Irish author and internet consultant Fergal O'Bryne.

Many website publishers are concerned about AutoLink, a feature being beta tested in Google's latest toolbar add-on, as it can effectively alter their content without their knowledge. In one case, bookstore Barnes & Noble found that when users clicked on its site, AutoLink provided links that would take them to rival Amazon to make their purchases.

O'Byrne says Google's AutoLink feature could be a step too far. "Microsoft tried to introduce something like this before with their SmartTags and it came a cropper, mainly due to vox pop people power," he said. "I have done a trawl of the major blogs and online forums and I read it about 80 percent vitriol, 10 percent in favour and the other 10 percent missing the point of AutoLink entirely," he said.

O'Byrne claims Google is effectively changing the way the content of his site could appear in someone's browser as AutoLink offers up alternative links, dictated by the search engine. "I did not give Google permission to do this."

But site owners and marketers using sites this side of the Atlantic need not be overly concerned about AutoLink just yet. "It is not currently taking away business and the penetration of the version 3 beta toolbar is still low. I believe the furore will ensure that Google develops either an opt-in feature for users or an opt-out feature for publishers" O'Byrne said.

Google is already feeling the ire of various communities concerned about this latest idea, whilst leading pundits like Danny Sullivan of SearchEngineWatch have come out against the current implementation of the toolbar.
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