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Apple Under Fire For Sherlock 2 Ads

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User since: 14 Dec 1998

Articles written: 67

Sherlock 2, as outlined in Martin's article

href="">Searching with

Sherlock Part 1: What is it? is a cool part of the MacOS which allows

users to search multiple sites from their computer. It doesn't reduce banner

ad revenue for sites providing plugins, because Sherlock plugins incorporate a

site's banners into the Sherlock results - or does it?

Well, yes and no. Yes if you're on Apple's small list of approved vendors, but

not so if you're the owner of a smaller site.

Tests by MacWEEK and members of the Sherlock-Talk mailing list show that

Sherlock 2 will "override ad banners in third-party plug-ins outside of

Apple's built-in set", and instead will display Apple ads with each search.

This change is undocumented (the original Sherlock allowed third-party

developers to include advertising data in their plug-ins), and leaves only

Apple and its approved vendors to reap ad revenue from Sherlock 2.

Manager of the Sherlock-Talk mailing list, Michael Ginsberg, noted that "If

Apple does not allow plug-in developers to control the banner ads viewed in

Sherlock, the number of plug-ins written for Sherlock 2 will be greatly

reduced," Ginsberg said.

Webmaster of Freedom UK, Pete Shaw agreed, adding "The default search sites

get their own banners displayed, but sites that want to support Sherlock would

have to give up their only source of revenue, which seems like a great shame.

I love the whole concept of Sherlock and want to be able to offer Freedom UK

visitors the ability to search its resources outside the browser, but I can't

see how I can support Sherlock 2 if the ad revenue is being blocked."

After using Apple hardware for most of the work done on Freedom UK, Shaw says

he feels particularly cheated.

MacWEEK reports: "Apple was not immediately available for comment." If anyone

spots a response from the company, please add information in a comment.

In the meantime, for more information, see:

Please note that will continue to work at providing an evolt

plug-in for Sherlock, since obviously we do not depend on advertising revenue

to survive. However, it would have been nice to include a small evolt banner

ad in results - to help promote other services (thelist, the free site source

code, archives, etc) to web developers not yet aware of these.

Isaac is a designer from Adelaide, South Australia, where he has run Triplezero for almost a decade.

He was a member and administrator of since its founding in 1998, designed the current site, and was a regular contributor on's direction-setting discussion list, theforum.

On the side, he runs Opinion, Hoops SA, Confessions, Daily Male, and Comments, as well as maintaining a travel gallery at

The access keys for this page are: ALT (Control on a Mac) plus: is an all-volunteer resource for web developers made up of a discussion list, a browser archive, and member-submitted articles. This article is the property of its author, please do not redistribute or use elsewhere without checking with the author.