Google toolbar picks where you surf

Google toolbar picks where you surf

This is something I feel unsure about. Basically Google toolbar picks up words on a page and creates a link to somewhere else. The example given that causes problems is that of Barnes and Noble and Amazon. You are visiting Barnes and Noble or any book web site for that matter, and you are looking at a page for a particular book. On that page is the ISBN number and Google recognises this and changes it into a link to Amazon. So now they have directed the browser away from one site to another with a possible financial implication. ie: the browser buys the book for Amazon rather than the store they started at. Now this is something Microsoft tried with Smart Tags and quickly dumped due to external pressures. ( More here… )

There is a Javascript workaround here but this is what causes the dilema.

I personally don’t want anyone messing with my site, any part of it. I want the user to see it as much as possible, as I intended. If I want to add a hyperlink to possible divert the user away then that’s my perogative, so I’m not keen on google changing my text and adding in links, especially as I don’t know where the are going to end up.

However, the user has installed google toolbar and has thus possibly made the decision that they like this process and afterall it’s kind of the principal that the net is built on and great for. The ability to navigate and find more information on a particular subject.

So which is the correct way: allow google to decide what your user sees or deny the user the flexibility?

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3 Replies to “Google toolbar picks where you surf”

  1. Personally, I think that this is wrong. It is another example of spamming by the back door. If I wanted to go to Amazon, I would go to Amazon. I would not be at whatever booksite I was at.

    Nothing against Amazon, great site, but Google, LEAVE THE WEB ALONE!

    An interesting issue though is whether what Google does is a violation of copyright. Since your pages (and thus your html/scripting) is copyrighted, does this constitute derivative work for the basis of making money, which without formal consent is illegal, I believe?

  2. I had Googlebar installed when I was using IE. Then I found out that it connects different web sites without asking for my permission. I then uninstalled it. This kind of software has no place on my machine. Not now, not ever.

  3. I don’t care. I won’t do anything I don’t want to in the first place. And that’s irrespective of how many lights, sounds and women appear on my screen.

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