Google Autolink

By the way, like I said before, I wasn’t going to say anything about the controversy about Autolink until I had actually seen it working myself. I have now, and while I’m not in love with it, I just can’t seem to get all that worked up about it. Here’s why:

– It only changes the tracking number, address, ISBN number into a link when the user goes to the toolbar and tells it to. It doesn’t “change the display of my page”, when the page opens it looks exactly like it does to people not using the Autolink, until they hit a button on the toolbar. The “uninformed user” who might be confused and think you linked to something you did not, would have to be pretty brain dead to open a page, see it display the way you designed it, ask the toolbar to create an autolink and then somehow think that new link the toolbar just added, is actually a link you created. Since showing Autolinks requires end-user interaction and understanding, doesn’t that preclude the “uninformed user” from seeing those links in the first place?

– If the address, tracking number, ISBN, etc. is already a link, Google won’t even show it as an Autolink option, let alone “overwrite my links”.

Is the potential there for Google to misuse this, by creating ads based on keywords, automatically creating the link upon page load, or overriding existing links? Yes. Does that worry me to some extent? Yes. But I’m not going to spend a lot of time ranting about it until, you know, they actually do misuse it.

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