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New Google Toolbar Stealing Traffic?

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A CNet report suggests that some are not happy with the new AutoLink feature offered by the latest version of the Google Toolbar.

When Web surfers install the toolbar in their Microsoft Internet Explorer Web browser and click the AutoLink button… Book publishers’ ISBN numbers trigger links to Amazon.com, potentially luring shoppers away from competing book sellers such as BarnesandNoble.com.

…some critics charge that AutoLink takes the liberty of modifying Web pages to direct people the way Google sees fit. Microsoft took the same approach with its Smart Tags feature years ago and eventually pulled it because of trust and trademark concerns

We’ll give it about a month before some company files suit against Google for stealing code or traffic. Not because they have an inherent right to, but just because they’ll know they have a good chance of winning (especially if filed in a French court). And can you imagine the uproar if Google starts linking AdWords advertisers with the AutoLink feature?

Link: CNet report

Andy Beal is an internet marketing consultant and considered one of the world’s most respected and interactive search engine marketing experts. Andy has worked with many Fortune 1000 companies such as Motorola, CitiFinancial, Lowes, Alaska Air, DeWALT, NBC and Experian.

You can read his internet marketing blog at Marketing Pilgrim and reach him at andy.beal@gmail.com.

New Google Toolbar Stealing Traffic?
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  • In Fear Of Revealing Name to Google

    This is so wrong. I own a shopping Web site. What am I supposed to do if people are coming to my site and clicking on the descriptions and buying from other sites? They are basically leveraging my bandwidth and advertising costs without asking my permission. This is the worst kind of copyright infringement.

    Would we allow people to tape record our sales pitches when they come into our offices and then repeat them word for word at their offices? Would we allow people to copy our newspaper, cut out the advertisers, sell advertising to fill the blanks, and then reprint the paper on their own press? So how can this be allowed.

    To me this is more than a civil offense. This is criminal fraud. We shouldn’t have to pay better lawyers than Google to get this removed. Where are our attorney generals when we need them?

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