Google Joins the Let-Me-Hijack-Your-Webpage Crowd
"When Web surfers install the [Google] toolbar...and click the AutoLink button, Web pages with street addresses suddenly sprout links to Google's map service by default. Book publishers' ISBN numbers trigger links to Amazon.com... Vehicle ID licenses spawn links to Carfax.com, while package tracking numbers connect automatically to shippers' Web sites."
Here we go again. First it was Gator, then Microsoft, and now Google. While I do understand that in many ways this could be an enhancement of the user experience, I have serious problems with the idea of a third party replacing content on a website it didn't create and doesn't own, without permission and with potentially disastrous consequences for the creator of the content.
And I can see this closing the big swinging door in Cyberspace that lets ordinary Joes and Janes compete as equals among the giants...because on the Web, so far, if you create a useful, well-designed site with good information, and you position the site to be found by search engines and other ways to generate traffic, the prospect can choose to patronize a part-time business working from home, that spent a hundred bucks to put up terrific content, as easily as a Fortune 100 corporation that spent millions. It's one of the few things left for the little guy in this world of increasing conglomoratization and centralization--and the implications are not pretty:
So, for both economic and ethical reasons, I'd urge Google to re-examine this idea. There may be ways to implement it that address these and other concerns, but until I see them, I will oppose it.