Robert_Charlton - 10:34 pm on Aug 20, 2011 (gmt 0)
For those who haven't seen it... the Related Toolbar is a bar that creeps up at the bottom of the page returned when you navigate to a site on the web; it suggests "related" sites.
This happens to those apparently with a Google Toolbar active in their own browsers unless they disable the "feature". While Google suggests in its video [youtube.com...] that Related "is easy to install", in my experience it installed itself when I tried to ignore it.
I haven't yet checked whether it pops up when Google returns it to those who've reached pages via AdWords. (The latter would be a real slap in the face, wouldn't it?).
Yes, it would be nice to know how to pre-emptively disable "Related" in the browsers of others... ie, of those searchers (or surfers) who see get the Related Toolbar when they land on one of your pages.
That said, the feature has its uses, and should provide some hints both to advertisers and site developers about what Google does consider useful and related. I've long suggested, eg, that restaurants are missing the boat by not advertising in Google's results for local movie theaters and showtimes. Google might be similarly suggesting that theater websites are missing the boat by not providing links to nearby places to eat. But Google is not reluctant to fill a vacuum when it sees one, and there are plenty of vacuums to fill.
Personally, the links to competitors rub me the wrong way. I suspect that Google may get a lot of heat for this one.