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Mon, 05 Sep 2005

Google tracks clicks.
After a discussion with a friend a few days ago, who claimed that google was tracking every click on its search result pages, I took a closer look. Try the following: * Search for something in google. (e.g. "[blogmal]:http://www.google.com/search?q=blogmal") * Hover over a search result (*do not click*), and look at the URL in the statusbar. * Click (*and hold*) your (left) mousebutton, and watch the statusbar. It turns out, Google returns its links in the form: % where the "%rwt()%" function is defined in the header of that page: % function rwt(el,ct,cd,sg){ % el.href="/url?sa=t" + % "&ct="+escape(ct)+ % "&cd="+escape(cd)+ % "&url="+escape(el.href).replace(/\+/g,"%2B")+ % "&ei=eDMcQ5uFIcHiiALL4pzuDg"+ sg; % el.onmousedown=""; % return true; % } They redefine the URL on click in an ugly attempt to hide what they are doing. If you want to get an idea know how many of your links google already tracked, enter %www.google.com/url% in your (firefox) address bar, and wait for the autocompletion menu to show up. Well. Time to look into [greasemonkey]:http://greasemonkey.mozdev.org/, I've got to turn this off. *EDIT*: The needed greasemonkey user script is [here]:http://www.freepgs.com/cuartodeluna/downloads/greasemonkey/puregooglelink.user.js. Click on that link, then select Tools|Install this user script. (thanks to Nick) -- Sec Note: If you use a localized google version (e.g %www.google.de% ) use that one instead of %.com% to check.
posted at: 15:07 | Category:
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