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March 07, 2005

Protect your site from Google's new toolbar

"Protect your site from Google's new toolbar" from Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report

To the delight of gadget freaks and the consternation of some web designers and thinkers, the new Autolink feature in Google’s latest toolbar sticks links on your site that you didn’t put there.

For instance, if your company’s site includes a street address, a link to Google’s map service will magically sprout from your page when users click the Autolink button. Likewise, a book’s ISBN number will trigger a link to an Amazon page selling that book. The BBC and CNET cite additional examples.

Critics point out that with this technology Google is approaching the very thing Microsoft tried to do in 2001. See Chris Kaminski’s “Much Ado About Smart Tags” (A List Apart 22 July 2001) if you missed that drama. Kaminski cited three problems with Smart Tags:


You can’t stop a juggernaut in pursuit of its own increase, but you can do something about the part where they mess with your website, adding links you didn’t create.

Namely, you can download this script from Threadwatch, install said script on your server, and link to it from the <head> of your web pages.


Please note that the toolbar is still in beta; the company is soliciting consumer feedback. Like previous Google toolbars, this one works only in Internet Explorer and only on the Windows platform. But most of its actual benefits, such as popup blocking and in-page Search, are built into newer browsers like Safari and Firefox.

March 7, 2005 at 06:04 PM in Interactivity | Permalink


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