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Google Makes Slight Alterations To AutoLink

Chris Richardson
Staff Writer
Published: 2005-05-12

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When Google first introduced the beta version of the Google Toolbar 3, it contained a feature that caused many heads to turn, as well as an outcry of disapproval.

The feature that caused such consternation is the AutoLink feature, which allows Google to add hyperlinks onto pages being viewed by the toolbar user.

Google does limit AutoLink's hyperlinking ability to pages containing the following information: package tracking numbers, book information, US addresses, and automobile information. However, because AutoLink actually suggests links that navigate the visitor away from a site, many people did not approve, or at least thought Google should have introduce an opt-out option.

Undeterred by the criticism, Google has taken its latest toolbar out of beta, complete with an enhanced AutoLink. It still performs as described, but there have been some changes. According to the SearchEngineWatch blog, Google made the following changes to the controversial AutoLink:

AutoLink now includes a number of bookstores and automotive sites in addition to the default choices offered in the beta version. You can also set your own preferred default site either through Toolbar preferences or by right-clicking a Google inserted AutoLink.

Other changes are more cosmetic. For instance, AutoLink now suggests links immediately, instead of having the delay present in the beta version. Despite the protests, it appears as if AutoLink is here to stay. If Steve Rubel's post is any indication, I would expect these protests to begin again, perhaps even louder than the when the beta came out.

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About the Author:
Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.

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