A great article on the legal battles bewtween various ecommerce sites and adware vendors was just published here.
My only problem with the article is the author, an attorney, confuses the harm caused by key word searches with the harm caused by having competing pop-ups delivered by adware. In the first case a traveler could search on a particular hotel and get various sponsored links that could lead to competitive sites that have affiliate networks that could lead the shopper to a competing hotel. That is OK. The online hotel industry is a vibrant market and each hotel is benefitting from that market. This article even sites the fact that 75% of reservations are made online. The entire industry is cutting the travel agent out of the loop. Costs are much lower. I say let the affiliates bid for keywords. The occasional customer they lose is more than made up for by the fact that each hotel is participating in the market and will increase their occupancy rates as a result. And the consumer benefits as well.
Pop-ups are an entirely different matter. If you go to InterContinental's web site and get a pop-up ad for another hotel it can mislead you into thinking the pop-up came from Intercontinental.( I had a drink Tuesday night with friends at the San Francisco, Nob Hill Intercontinental. Top of the Mark, great music, great views)
There is a difference between a customer searching for a hotel and one going to a hotel site.
Originally published at www.threatchaos.com