Every Google search result is redirected through http://google.com/url? – which lets Google track your clicks in order to personalize your search as well as perform necessary analytics of what gets actually clicked in search results (to adapt listing order accordingly). You won’t notice the redirect when hovering over the link and looking at the status bar.
You can see the exact referral URL by highlighting the search listing title, right-clicking on it and selecting “View Selection Source“. You will also see the referral URL by copying-pasting (via right-clicking -> Copy Link Location) the link from the results page.
This can prove to be particularly annoying when you’re trying to just quickly grab a relevant URL to quote in an article, store for later research, state as source material or whatever your personal case happens to be, as it means you actually have to click through to the relevant site in order to simply copy and paste the correct web address.
Fortunately, there are a number of options available (all of these are Greasemonkey scripts) that allow users to remove the referral links from the search results – which can prove to be extremely helpful when it comes to optimizing time spent on search related tasks.
Strip Google Redirects
One of the more popular scripts used for this purpose is Google Anonymizer, which “withholds IP information when making requests to Google search” and also strips referral code from the redirected links.
Along with other scripts like Disable Google Search Result Redirect, it claims to stop Google from tracking what sites you’re visiting (but be aware that if you’re logged into Google, or store Google cookies with your browser – it won’t really protect your identity from Google or de-personalize your search results).
On the flip side, it does a good job to remove Google redirects from search and letting you painlessly copy the target URL:
Strip Google Search Redirects & See the Full Path
“Obviously Scrub Google Redirect Links” script replaces the redirect with a plain link and also adds the extra line containing the target URL – so the user can see the full URL path (this can be rather distracting at first but I can imagine it should be easy to get used to).
This way you can copy the full URL either by right-clicking on the result link -> Copy Link Location or just copy-pasting the URL path below the result:
Linkify The Green URL Path & Get the Direct Link There
A good script for people who are just trying to get to the information they need quickly is “Linkify Google Search Results”. This script “linkifies” the plain “un-clickable” green links displayed beneath the search snippet; it also linkifies each directory level in the URL path.
Thus it provides a great navigation breadcrumb-like aid that lets you quickly jump to a site home page or a sub folder:
I liked the idea behind the tool (and that is also what Google does too for the selected results), but I found the output a bit overwhelming. With some work on making it look more usable, that could be a great tool.
Are you aware of any other ways to remove Google redirects from result listings? Do you see yourself using any of these tools?