“Google, You have no right to modify my content”
As an online publisher and content provider the AutoLink feature in the new version of the Google toolbar is something that I take serious and direct issue with.
You may recall that MicroSoft tried a similar concept with SmartTags and other companies have released other similar plugins that have come to collectively been called Scumware, Spyware, Adware or Malware.
Gary Price of SearchEngeWatch wrote:
With “AutoLink” enabled, web pages will be “enhanced” with additional links if Google thinks additional information might be helpful. For example, say your browsing a web page with numerous addresses on it. AutoLink will turn each of those addresses into direct links to the Google Maps database.
I don’t want Google, or any other company for that matter, “enhancing” or otherwise modifying the page design, links or content of our pages or other intellectual property without permission and/or compensation to us.
Let’s imagine that I sell books online and I list the ISBN number on the pages. AutoLink modifies the ISBN numbers that I list on my ecommerce pages and inserts a link to that books page in Amazon, my competitor… Not Good.
I am sure that this “Feature” has massive commercial appeal and potential for Google. How long will it be before Google starts offering paid partnerships to certain parters to link their data directly from your pages to theirs.
What happens if Google doesn’t stop with ISBN, Package tracking Numbers and VIN Numbers. What happens when Google starts commercializing this service and selling keyword links like all the other scumware providers?
Google may claim this is useful and they will do no evil. How can we be sure? Google is a for-profit and publically traded company that will be under increasing pressure from investors to pay divedends.
How much longer before we just let the web browser rewrite all our websites and pages.
There is much to consider.