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Old 05-06-2005   #1
phatrino
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Question Big Brother (More than just web accelerator)

Tonight (May 6, around 3am GMT) I was surfing the web with Google and noticed something odd. Every link on the results page directed me not to the original web page, as one might expect, but to a google proxified version of the page.
For example, I typed in "Search Engine Watch" and as expected, this wonderful site was at the top of the list. When I clicked the link, however, I was taken to http://www.google.com/url?sa=U&start...ch.com/&e=9797
This was the case with every result on the page, for every web search I tried.
q obviously represents the requested url. start corresponds with how high the page was on google's results. I haven't been able to figure out what the sa=U is for.
I don't so much mind Google doing this, I only wish I knew what it was for. Is it part of their grand Web Accelerator? Is it to try to lift some bandwidth from third party sites? Is it (more likely) a way to keep tabs of what sites are being clicked on and how often?
Like I said, for the most part, I trust Google not to be evil, but I could find no announcement on their sight about why they were doing this. I hope an explination surfaces in the next day or two so I can go back to surfing in bliss.

Last edited by phatrino : 05-06-2005 at 03:02 AM.
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Old 05-06-2005   #2
NTR
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Glad Someone Noticed and Posted

Thanks for posting this. I noticed this Monday along with the "Try Alternate Searches" which only worked in IE and has since gone. If say you were searching for "real estate Atlanta" once you clicked search, at the bottom of the page it would show that option. If you selected it, it would shoe you the top three alternatives to that query as well as the top three results for each query. I was hoping someone has a clue a clue about these.
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Old 05-06-2005   #3
phatrino
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Unhappy Why are they doing this?

Have they announced this anywhere? I would feel a lot less uncomfortable with the whole thing if Google explained what they were doing with this information.
I would hope, for example, they're not just making a list of the web sites I visit and using that to target AdWords at me...
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Old 05-09-2005   #4
summerherekids
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Thank goodness for all the other Search Engines that we have full freedom to use.
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Old 05-09-2005   #5
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Maybe they are playing a game with the scrapers.
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