Thursday, February 24, 2005

AutoLink Bad!

Some of you may remmember the announcement about Google's then latest feature AutoLink, which was an addition to the new Tool Bar beta.

Emedeatly there where direct comparison with Microsoft's ilfated smart tags. Which was so badly received by the community that they had to drop it, eventually to put it in office.

Now Google's AutoLink has been around for a while there are thous who have their concerns about the effect Autolink could have on the web, and that Microsoft may use the introduction of Autolink to bring back smart tags.

Over on Dave Winer has taken the time to sit down and put his fear's about AutoLink in to HTML.

Any news organization or academic journal that publishes on the Web now has a serious integrity issue because of the existence of the Google toolbar with the AutoLink feature. All documents will have to contain a disclaimer that links contained within the page may not have been placed there by the author or organization whose copyright notice is on the page. Same is true for legal documents, end-user license agreements, rental agreements, etc. And if links are changeable, is text subject to change as well? Might Google correct our spelling? Or might they correct our thinking? Where is the line?
He makes some well thought out points and raises some issues which should concern us all, for the future of the web. Especially if Microsoft brings back Smart Tags as part of IE7 or 8.

There is how ever one defense against AutoLinks that we can all take, Don't install it. Sound's simple I know, really what do you need the Google Tool Bar for any way? Do you really need to know the page rank of site?

FireFox has a Google search Box built in any way. If page rank is all that important to you, then your reading web sites for the wrong reasons, But then again if you only visit high ranked sites what are you doing here? This site has a page rank of 0, or my main domain ( has a page rank of 1.

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