Google’s Smart Tags

Remember the brou ha ha when Microsoft announced its Smart Tags? Smart Tags would automatically add links into your documents, whether you liked it or not. Well Zeldman reports that the latest Google toolbar does exactly that, for example a street address will link to Google Maps and an ISBN will link to Amazon.

The system is turned off by default, requiring users to clicking an ‘Autolinks’ button to add links to the page. However their is no way to stop Google adding links to your site. At least without running some JavaScript which checks for those links added by Google. I wouldn’t mind so much if the functionality was available through a right-click – this would be a smart addition, but dynamically adding links to the page (which is precisely what happens) amounts to Google re-writing my page, which is unacceptable to me, whether the action is initiated by the user or not.