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23 February, 2005

AutoLink 'blocked' (twice)

A quick update to that previous posting about Google's AutoLink 'feature': Jeffrey Zeldman, of A List Apart, offers a JavaScript, er, script to automatically remove any links added without the author's permission, defeating AutoLink.

As Neil notes, it isn't a perfect solution. Jeffrey mentions the superior alternative would be:

... if Google would do what Microsoft did with Smart Tags: namely, provide a meta tag that disables them.
Hence those site owners who don't mind or even welcome the functionality could permit it, whereas those like Jeffrey and I could cleanly opt out, retaining control over our own sites.

Update 24/02/05:

Aw, ****.
Some **** has produced a bookmarklet to disable the JavaScript.

On to Plan 'B'. There's an even simpler way to prevent AutoLinking: don't provide linkable content in the first place. Google links from ISBNs? Fine; don't expect to see any ISBNs at this site.

It's kind of retrograde to have to withhold information to prevent tampering, but if that's what it takes....

Unless, of course, we all simply rename the JavaScript function, defeating the bookmarklet. Sorted!

Update 04/03/05:

Threadwatch now has an array of AutoLink blockers.

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