Thursday, April 05, 2007

New features in CustomizeGoogle 0.56

Please upgrade to CustomizeGoogle 0.56, it comes with two new features and a lot of updates:

Now, when you select "Remove click tracking" in CustomizeGoogle Options -> Web, the click tracking found in ads are also removed.

CustomizeGoogle options

This means
  1. Google will not know which ads you click
  2. The advertiser doesn't have to pay Google any money
This is good news if you're worried about your privacy. And if you are an advertiser, this is an easy way to check out your own, and competitors, ads without anyone being charged.

Google Video Search now have links to other video search sites (YouTube, Yahoo, Metacafe, IFILM, Revver, Dailymotion).

For those of you who had problems browsing Google Book Search and Google Patents, these issues should now be fixed.

I've also added three new languages, Frisian (Netherlands), Albanian (Albania) and Romanian (Romania). Thanks to moZes, Besmir Godole and ultravioletu from Babelzilla! CustomizeGoogle is now translated into 43 languages/countries. A complete list can be found at the CustomizeGoogle homepage.


Anonymous Yaron said...

First of all, good work on the extension, and it is very useful for various Google searches.

But on this particular case I think you made a wrong call by deciding to change this behaviour globally instead of adding a second option.

Removing link tracking from general search results is very good. Both in terms of privacy, and because it gives the actual links (for bookmarking, easily seeing where the link actually goes, seeing the browser indicate previously visited links, copying, or using anything else with the link directly without opening it).

But the ads are a different matter. True, there is still a privacy issue by letting Google know what ads were clicked. But on the other hand having the ads paid for is a legitimate requirement, and removing it doesn't just help users but also hurts Google by "forcing" them provide an ad service to companies for free.

The trade-off here is quite different. And I expect (though I may be wrong here) that not all the people who want to remove click tracking from regular links would also want to remove them from ads. I know I don't.

Please make this optional, rather than bundled under a single option. These are semantically two entirely different features, that merely behave the same way technically.

1:54 PM  
Blogger CustomizeGoogle said...

Thanks for your input. I'll consider moving it to a separate option.

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, please change it. I support many sites by letting Adbloc Plus display the ads and I click on them once in a while.
If the advertizer doesn't need to pay for the click the owner of the website who placed the ads doesn't get paid either (at least not on pay-per-click).
Please change this.

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you should think again about your policy for development of these add-ins, especially the ad-related functions.

Google provides an unprecedented service to the world by making the internet searchable. They do it far better than anyone else, and always have. This is a massively expensive and highly skilled endeavour, and has to be paid for somehow, and I cannot imagine a less obtrusive way that it could be provided.

Why would you want to attempt to subvert the economic foundations of Google? Especially when we already know what the alternatives would look like. You must at some time have seen AOL, or MSN, or Yahoo - is that what you want ?
You know what Google's founders chose as their motto.. They didn't have to do that. Most corporations choose "maximise return on shareholder's funds" as their only ethical guideline.

What went through your mind when you decided to attack their funding model ?
What you're doing would only make sense if you are working for - or have some loyalty to - one of the rivals (Yahoo, MSN, et al). If you're just 'one-of-us', you've picked the wrong target. Go after funders of Climate change denial, or Arms manufacturers, or bent Washington lobbyists. Ethically sound corporations are thin on the ground. Don't put your energy into attacking one of the few we've got.

Whoever you are - even if you work for Microsoft - you know full well that you would not have the level of technical expertise you do if not for Google.

You clearly have some reservations about whether what you are doing is ok, otherwise your whois info would not be the crock that it is.

By all means if they do something dumb, or oppressive, or technically inept, fix it. Don't do things to attack their economic base just to show off, you're doing a disservice to us all.

If on the other hand you are doing this because you're being paid to - turn the tables. Spill the beans on your employer, sell your story and become a star witness in a major legal case ;->

Hey, who knows - when it's all over maybe Google will hire you. ;-<>

1:26 AM  

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