Our purpose with this series is to use real life examples of deception, fraud and other evil to show how you can better protect yourself. The examples cited in these articles are intended to demonstrate best practices and recommendations.
If you were worried about Microsoft's smart tags, then perhaps you should read this article. Whereas you could argue that Microsoft didn't have best of intentions with smart tags, at least they provided a way for webmasters to prevent them showing on their pages.
On other hand, Ezula (and it's product TopText) is scum that scum wipes off scums feet. The company is evil. While they are not in same league as Osama Bin Laden (who needs to be volunteered to a special project to determine effects of nuclear missles on human flesh), they are evil. With them, though, best "nuke" is to ignore their pitch and never install product. If you've got it, remove it immediately. It's simple and and obvious.
Here's what Ezula does. They sell users on some exaggerated benefit (much like that other scum product called Gator) and use this to get their product installed on user's computer. In this case, Ezula "gives" their users something almost identical to smart tags.
The product basically scans HTML pages as they are loaded onto a system, looking for keywords. When it finds a keyword, it replaces it with a special link to page (or pages) of a page advertiser (along with some links to content of some kind - that's "benefit" that gets people to install silly product).
Let's take an example. Pretend you want to sell tires, so you purchase Ezula rights to keyword "tires". Now, every time any web page of any Ezula user loads it is scanned for word "tires". Ezula replaces those with links to your site - even if it is site of one of your competitors! Or even a site about how people get tired ("he tires easily") or anything like that.
Here's what they tell users (the poor suckers who download this excrement): "eZula, Inc. is a leading provider of real-time contextual Internet solutions. eZula's flagship product TopText iLookup is premier personal Internet reference and simplification tool, empowering millions of Internet users with an easy way to retrieve relevant information and simplify Internet Navigation."
Sound's great, doesn't it? Man, if that's all you read you'd run to download this garbage. But wait, read more of website. Go to advertisers section and you will read, "eZula's platform leverages content that user is viewing in real time and turns key phrases, that best describe advertiser, into a global advertising opportunity that drives qualified traffic to advertiser from anywhere on Web."
They further describe, "ContextPro™, eZula's Contextual Keyword Platform, puts you in front of millions of Internet Users, wherever they are on Web, and enables you to reach them, based on Context of every Web page that they are viewing in real time."