Search Result Link screwed by Google Personalized Search ?

Google, Tech

Google Personalized Search which was out of Beta this February was enabled by default for every Google account.

Once you login to your Google Account, your entire “Web History” is being recorded by Google. The recording is not just limited to Google Search; in fact searches across the various Google services such as Image Search, Map Search etc are recorded.

This web history could be used by Google to improve the search results. For users it does provide useful information regarding the search done over the period of time(Trends).

In fact you can search for items within your search history 🙂

However the problem I have observed from the past few weeks is that this new personalized service screws the Link URL’s of the search results (I am not completely sure Personalized Search is the culprit)

  1. Log into your Google Account
  2. Search for something using Google Search
  3. Copy a search result link

For E.g. The URL of the first search result for keyword “Sudoku”:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&ct=res&cd=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.websudoku.com%2F&ei=ipZYTg&usg=AbYUJnig&sig2=wezA

The link I intended to copy was this: http://www.websudoku.com

For every other link that I intend to copy and use (share), 3 parameters are added to the URL

  • ei
  • usg
  • sig2

Even if you pause the web history, all the 3 parameter are still present in the search result links. So this probably means that even if you pause web history, google internally does collect web search data.

Till few weeks back, I had no issues in copying links from Google Search results, but now its totally messed up. The only way to get out of this mess is to logout of Google, which in turn logs you out of all Google Services.

Are you facing a similar problem ? Is there any way to avoid this mess ?

P.S. Meanwhile I checked for the behavior in Yahoo and Live Search services. In Yahoo the link is screwed irrespective of whether you are logged in or not. In Live Search there is no issue in copying the link.

4 comments… add one

  • TheAnand May 19, 2007

    hmm…just noticed, i can see wht you mean…i usually copy paste the url in the bottom of each search..it works 🙂

  • venukb May 19, 2007

    Anand, thats what I have been doing now 🙂 Copy from the bottom of the search result.

    But I am so used to copying the link; takes some time to get over that habit.

  • Shankar Ganesh Jun 13, 2007

    A better way – use a different browser for searching alone 😉 but your IP may show you who you’re, isn’t it?

  • Venu Jun 13, 2007

    Shankar, thats what I am doing now.. 😀 I am not concerned about privacy. When I am writing a blog post and when I want to link to a page, I always used to get the screwed up IP

    I then started using the “bakra” IE for this purpose.. 🙂

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