Auto Smartlinks

If you read this blog regularly, you certainly should have noticed the little blue square icons next to certain words on this blog. There’s one in the prior post on The Eels.


That little blue square next to the link to The Eels is called a "smart link". If you click on the little icon this is what you’ll get.


Smartlinks "explode" the link and give the reader access to a host of additional services on the item that’s been linked to (in this case the band The Eels).

To date, the way this worked is that the blogger had to embed a special link each and every time they wanted to offer a smart link. Not that many people did that although I certainly did as often as I thought of it.

Today, Adaptive Blue is launching "auto smartlinks" which means you don’t need to do a lot of work to get smart links on your blog.

Here’s what you need to do. First, you put some script on your blog. Here’s the link to get the code. In many cases, you can do a 1-click install.

Then every time you link out to Amazon, Yahoo Finance, IMDB,, and a number of other web services, that link will automatically become a smartlink.

Give it a try on your blog and let me know what you think. Adaptive Blue is a Union Square Ventures portfolio company and I’ll be sure to relay your thoughts to Alex Iskold (actually I won’t have to because Alex reads this blog).

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. jer979

    So I like it, but I noticed that it doesn’t seem to work for Amazon Associates links.See

    1. Fraser

      Hi Jer979, it works for Amazon Associate links, there was a small bug associated with the Amazon link in your posts. If you check now you’ll see that the link for Citizen Marketers is working well and is correctly linked to your Amazon ID (jeremysblog-20). Let me know if you observe anything else that’s odd, and thanks for installing the new SmartLinks.

      1. jer979

        I just noticed that on this post:… if someone uses the Adaptive Blue link and then goes to Amazon from there, the tag says “adaptive blue” instead of Jeremysblog-20. In other words, I lose the referral fee if they buy. Most uncool.

        1. fredwilson

          That’s not how it is supposed to work so something is wrong.Adaptive blue maintains your amazon affiliate IDfred

          1. Fraser

            Hi Jeremy, I dropped you a more comprehensive note via your web form.Like Fred said, something must have gone wrong – AdaptiveBlue maintains your amazon affiliate ID.You can read about setting up your Amazon, Google, and Ebay affiliates with SmartLinks here:… and drop me a note if you have any questions.

  2. Dan Entin

    I have the Adaptive Blue plugin for Firefox and I honestly rarely use it and mostly find that it gets in the way when I use the right-click options in the browser. I’ll consider trying it out in my TypePad blog where I think it will be of more use.Speaking of little triangles in your blog, how do you get the “play” triangle icon for inline mp3 playing on your blog? Thanks.-Dan

    1. Fraser

      Hi Dan, sorry to hear that the BlueOrganizer plugin gets in your way when you right-click in the browser. The options for the right-click menu are automatically populated based on analysis of your browsing habits.If you’d like to edit the content that appears in the menu when you right-click you can manually edit the list of options presented – to include just your favorite sites – from within the “My Sites” tab in the BlueOrganizer options.If you need some help with this please drop me a line and I can walk you through the process. And give some thought to installing the new SmartLinks on your TypePad blog – there’s a 1-click installation that’s simple and then SmartLinks are automatically inserted into your blog posts for links to supported sites.

    2. Fraser

      One additional thing: the “play” triangle icon for inline mp3 playing is the play tagger. You can find the script here:

    3. fredwilson

      That’s the delicious playtagger…

  3. Fred333

    Very cool. I never knew the name of that feature before.

  4. William

    I was hoping this would become an auto landing page for music blogs and what not – I thought that’s what the team was working on? If anything it seems the amazon links and what not have been made less prominent and not more prominent.I am all for giving the user the best user experience, but if they are leaving my site to go elsewhere I’d prefer they go to a site like amazon where I have the chance to make some income than a site like Wiki.Maybe I miss interrupted the goals of adaptive but somebody really needs to make an autolinker which gives you the best prices from the big retailers for CDs/digital downloads.

    1. Alex Iskold

      Hi William,Right now the choice is offered to go to different sites about the album and then look up related information. As implemented, the user does not leave your page.There are comparison shopping links in the pane. Our goal is not to focus on specific thing, like scouting prices, instead we focus on bring the best related shortcuts from around the to the album.Not all the links are monetization nor do we think they should be. Its about creating good user experience first and retaining users. By giving people a choice you ensure that they come back and will read your page more and ultimately will transact through a magnetizable link.