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Google May Launch UPC Code Autolinks

Steve Rubel
Expert Author
Published: 2005-03-04

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This is getting ridiculous. Marissa Mayer from Google told the Washington Post (reg. required) that more Google Toolbar autolinks are in the works, probably using other numbers you can already type into Google's query box to get special results.

Those include telephone area codes, which link to maps of covered regions, and UPC or bar codes, which retrieve links to product descriptions.

UPC codes is going too far! This means that Google can take every SKU, turn it into a link and point it back at Froogle. Will they have the guts to do this without asking for feedback first?

At least Google is hearing what Dave Winer, Danny Sullivan, Dan Gillmor and Robert Scoble are saying. According to the WaPo Mayer said Google has decided to give users more choices about where the links will go for books and cars, as the result of feedback the company has received from users. That's not stopping them from trying new things apparently.

What's worse, they're telling us to add links if we don't want Google doing so...

Hyperlinking their own content is the best way publishers can prevent Google from adding links to their pages, Mayer said, because Google's technology will not override existing links.

Sign the petition now if you care about content.

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About the Author:
Steve Rubel is a PR strategist with nearly 16 years of public relations, marketing, journalism and communications experience. He currently serves as a Senior Vice President with Edelman, the largest independent global PR firm.

He authors the Micro Persuasion weblog, which tracks how blogs and participatory journalism are changing the public relations practice.

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