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Topic: There's something funny going on with Google (Read 5 times) previous topic - next topic

Nick Gammon

I've been noticing recently that when I Google something, and then click on the link, my browser does not immediately show the target web site in the "address" bar but some complicated Google address.

So today I thought I would look more closely. I turned the "browser log" on in Firefox, searched for Arduino, and selected the top hit (the Arduino.cc site). Even though the mouse-over window appears to indicate that clicking will take you to arduino.cc, this is what actually happens:

Code: [Select]
[14:22:34.708] GET https://www.google.com.au/client_204?&bi... [HTTP/1.1 204 No Content 179ms]
[14:22:35.322] GET https://www.google.com.au/csi?v=3&s=web&... [HTTP/1.1 204 No Content 160ms]
[14:22:43.185] GET http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j...  [HTTP/1.1 200 OK 218ms]
[14:22:43.581] GET http://www.arduino.cc/ [HTTP/1.1 200 OK 1297ms]

That's 3 calls to Google sites (presumably HTTP redirects) before the target site is fed to the browser. I've been noticing before that if you want to help someone out (eg. find the Arduino web site) you can no longer Google it, and then just copy the link from the Google page. For example, for Arduino you get this:

Code: [Select]
http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=...QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.arduino.cc  ...

(Partly obscured in case it has my personal information there, which wouldn't surprise me).

So now you actually have to follow the link, watch various addresses appear and disappear, and then you can copy the link from the targeted site.

So is Bing any better? Well, marginally:

Code: [Select]

[14:24:48.819] GET http://www.bing.com/fd/ls/GLinkPing.aspx? ...[undefined 83ms]
[14:24:48.902] GET http://www.arduino.cc/ [HTTP/1.1 200 OK 1215ms]

That's just one redirect rather than three.

So the moral is, Google (and Bing) know who you are (after all they know your IP address). And they also know, after you did a search, which link(s) - if any - you followed. Just imagine what they could do with that information!


its been like that for months, but you usually dont see it until you hit a site that is 404ed or bogged down ... I see it all the time and frankly its quite annoying to click a link get a error and look up to see a freaking 1024 bit google hash code in base 64 as an URL


What really ticks me off about it is that, if you knew that the site was what you wanted from the search, and you just wanted to copy/paste the link (to a discussion or whatnot), you can't - you get the transmogrified version instead when you paste it. I had a feeling they were doing some kind of trackback on it when I saw the crazy link. I don't see why we can't just have the regular link, or an option to turn on regular linking, etc. It's rapidly getting to the point where google is saying silently "to hell with do no evil; let's make money" (thus fulfilling the old adage, of course). Mozilla needs to integrate a peer-to-peer non-centralized search engine (with encryption) into the browser, and just bypass this tracking crap.
I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.

Nick Gammon

The thing that troubles me about this is that, even if Google are planning to "do no evil" (and making a lot of money isn't necessarily totally consistent with that), once the data is collected (who is searching for what, and how often, and what links they ultimately follow), who can say for sure that one day this won't happen:

  • Google are served with a Court order to hand over all their records (eg. "to catch terrorists")

  • The files are just leaked - remember WikiLeaks? Any security system will eventually be broken.


In firefox, select the green color address and right click open in new window. Yep,extra step for you! I noticed this redirect thing for at least a year. Even if you hover your mouse over the link, and you see arduino.cc displayed at the bottom of firefox, you right click or do anything to it and immediately realize the display turns into the google address.

Before I right click the link see bottom display "arduino.cc"

After I right click the link see bottom display "google.com/stealing_yall_infoXXX"

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