Vast Active Library and Information Science blog. From a recent library science graduate in Wellington, New Zealand. A focus on reference and current awareness tools and issues, especially free, web-based resources.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Boing Boing: Google stealthily monitoring clickthroughs from search-results  
Interesting Google privacy issue picked up by Cory at Boing Boing.

" Just before you click on a link on a search-results page, at the "on mousedown" event, Google rewrites the links in its search results with a long redirector URL that is presumably being used to track which search results are being selected most often.

For example, the first search result for a Google search for Boing Boing is listed as "". If you hover your mouse over the link on the results page, the status-bar in your browser displays the link URL as "". However, if you right-click on the link and copy the link location, it is revealed to actually be " url=http%3A//" (it will probably be a slightly different URL for you). "

Cory says this is probably benign, but there's a principle here: "Don't be Evil" should surely include being upfront about what information you are collecting about your users. Especially when this is linked to the legendary Google never-expiring cookies....