Here's a Map to My House, and PS. Thanks For Leaving My Site.

Feb 25, 2005 - 4:46 pm 0 by
Filed Under Usability

Danny Sullivan's round up article on Googles's Autolink experiment is fantastic and a must read for anyone who owns a web site and cares about the experience of their visitors.

In Google Toolbar's AutoLink & The Need For Opt-Out he writes,

"Threadwatch describes a JavaScript blocking solution cooked up by Search Guild. Download the solution (instructions are provided), insert it into your web pages. The same Threadwatch thread is also tracking any new solutions that come up -- some new server-side ones have just been posted.

Meanwhile, an anti-anti-AutoLink option appears to also be out there for users who want to override publishers trying to prevent AutoLink. I say appears because it seems like a clunky workaround that I can't really understand -- and looking at the comments posted, some others don't get it as well.

I mention it mainly because it highlights how quickly things have become absurd. You have third-parties working to prevent AutoLink and potentially others working to prevent preventing AutoLink. It's a mess."

This "mess" is born out of the fact that Google is experimenting on our web sites, and in some cases, possibly doing harm. For every parent who has a kid who has a web site on the Internet, the fact that a Google Autolink can now present a map to your house, if that web site has your address in the content, is the stuff nightmares are made of.

From the usability standpoint, removing the right to control the experience of your web site visitor is cause for concern. If someone didn't hyperlink a book, there may be a reason for that. Google doesn't ask you. The Autolink will take your visitor to Amazon anyway. Away from your web site.

I have much to say about this in Danny Sullivan's Review of Google Toolbar's AutoLink

Won't bore you with it all here :)


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