Google tracks clicks on its search links even if browser cookies disabled
|Notice the status (lower left) while mousing in a Google search. The address shown in the status bar is a total lie.|
The two links below go to the same place. I got the first link by selecting "Copy Link Location" over a search result from Bing, and the the second link by selecting "Copy Link Location" over a search result from Google.
When you click a Google Search result, it takes you first to Google's web service (the longer link below), where Google records what you clicked (and who knows what else about you) before forwarding to the page you actually wanted.
I recommend that everyone switch away from Google search, since there are now good alternatives.
I really don't understand why the tech community is not raising hell over this--it is yet another invasion into our privacy. Even running a browser in private browsing mode would not save us from this kind of rigging--which, my guess is, could be why Google did this. And also to more accurately charge their ad customers for click-throughs. Either way, I don't like it. Google's "Don't Be Evil" slogan is beginning to look a little ironic, and I've switched to Bing for the majority of my web searches.