Google Apologises for Autolink!

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well ok - not quite - but I bet it got your attention?

One of our members is in Australia and noticed that AutoLink is playing havoc with some Aus addresses which it seems to think are American. Cue complaint letter to Goog.

A few days later comes a response which isn't quite the standard rubber stamped disclaimer - it's actually a masterpiece from the school of careful apologies and reads like it was checked by the lawyers before they sent it :)

If the Toolbar incorrectly geocodes Australian addresses on your page - this is regrettable, and we apologize for the poor user experience Toolbar users may experience when clicking on the AutoLink button. We hope as Google Maps (beta) improves their address recognition technology, these types of problems can be minimized in the future.

although they rather spoil it by adding

As we've mentioned above, the Google Toolbar does not modify existing links on a page. As a work-around, you may want to consider hyperlinking the existing addresses on your page that you would like the AutoLink feature to ignore.

The rest of the reply is the normal mix of platitude and self-satisfied justification we've come to expect on this.

Comments

Australian/American geocoding

Bet it was Western Australia, whose WA most US based stuff assumes to be Washington State! Problem I get with AdSense ads being mistargeted.

Google Maps

as a Western Australian I wonder what Google Maps has to do with it, given it doesn't cover here or anywhere else in WA. It Google about to launch Google Maps in Australia??

 

no, you're being annexed into the US ;)

All it is is despite Googles oft-repeated promise that "Autolink is only available in the US" clearly it is actually available worldwide and GoogleMaps, being Beta, thinks anywhere with WA in the address and a sufficiently similar address to an actual US one is in the US.

That's ok - when Google have taught us all to design websites properly it won't happen again :)

This is for the politicians

I am not known in the least as someone who knocks Google. Hoever, if this was happening to Scottish addresses, I would immediately inform all Members of Scottish Parliament and tell them to do something about.

It is kind of being treated as a joke here but this is something which I find extremely serious. It is a piece of software which is not working correctly.

It is NOT a good user experience if a Western Australian address is being picked up as a Washington State address.

The workaround smacks of "You are thousands of miles away, you are not America, so it doesn't matter".

The workaround should come from Google not from the web publisher in Australia.

The whole thing is a joke...

just not of the funny variety.

Strangely EuroTrash I was just reading Nicks other thread and was thinking about politicians. A lot of what Google is (or could be) doing with regards to privacy could easily upset a lot of people in the UK.

While I personally don't have an issue too much with my surfing being logged if you saw my post the other day (or click on my link above and scroll up the SG thread) you'll see that the new toolbar Privacy Policy states that the Toolbar 'must' phone home when AutoLink is used.

As I say, I don't have issues personally but an awful lot of people do...... and a few new politicians need to make a name for themselves about now....

Digging their own grave

on steroids. Shouldn't be too long now till everybody sighs "good riddance".

And it smacks of an American culture thing, too. Guess why they sell t-shirts in Vienna saying "There are no kangaroos in Austria"? :-)

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