How do I keep Google from seeing which search result I clicked?
December 5, 2012 4:34 PM   Subscribe

Can I make my Google search results not pass through Google?

When I search on Google I get back a page of search results, like I always have. But lately I've been noticing that every single search result has a link that passes back through Google. I used to see this occasionally, or for one or two of the top results. But for about the last week or two all results, all the time, have it.

As a specific example, when I search for "banana", the first result is for, and that's what shows up when I mouse-over the link. But "Copy Link Location" reveals that the link actually goes to

Obviously they are (optionally) recording something and then re-directing me to the site. I'd like to be able to just go directly to the site.

- I realize it's a free service and blue_beetle is right, but if I can stop it I'd like to.
- Your comment of "privacy is over, get used to it" is not an answer to my question.
- I've been able to survive without GreaseMonkey, and I've heard it can cause problems reading 3000+ comment threads, but maybe it's time to start.

Technical details: Win7, FireFox 17.0, NoScript extension, but and are allowed to run, (NoScript indicates that all scripts are allowed on the results page). The re-directing links are there regardless of my cookie policy.
posted by benito.strauss to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
check out

Some description:

DuckDuckGo is an alternative search engine that offers a variety of privacy features. DuckDuckGo doesn’t store personal information about your computer that it receives, including your IP address and Web browser information ... In most search engines, the search engine exposes your search query to a website you click in the search results. DuckDuckGo blocks this “leakage,” preventing the website from knowing you what you searched for.
posted by oblio_one at 4:42 PM on December 5, 2012 [4 favorites]

From the maker of Adblock Plus: Google/Yandex search link fix plugin for Firefox
posted by Pinback at 4:43 PM on December 5, 2012 [6 favorites]

MakeUseOf did an article about this a few years back. I think I use this Greasemonkey script. I've found that it's rarely a problem most of the time because scripts run on certain domains. So a Greasemonkey script that was only running on Google wouldn't bog down a 3000 comment thread on MeFi.
posted by jessamyn at 4:45 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Copy, Paste.
posted by jeffamaphone at 5:35 PM on December 5, 2012

Pinback, that's just perfect — especially since I'm comfortable with Firefox extensions. All I had to do was click "Add to Firefox", and I didn't even need a FF restart. Thanks!
posted by benito.strauss at 5:46 PM on December 5, 2012

That's just the way Google works. Use an alternative like Bing.
posted by yclipse at 6:54 PM on December 5, 2012

Nthing Duck Duck Go. From a privacy perspective, they are tops. No cookies, no tracking, no search bubble.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:46 PM on December 6, 2012

Outside of an option like Duck-Duck-Go, all of the major search engines want to know which of the pages you click on (as well as how long you "dwell" on the site before returning to the search engine). This is because user click behavior is one of the best signals a search engine has about which results are the best quality and most relevant for a particular search.
posted by vegetableagony at 6:47 PM on December 16, 2012

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