Sometimes I’m searching on Google to copy the search results link into another application. This is an extremely frustrating experience as links are manipulated by Google. When you copy a link in Google’s search results you’ll notice that the link target are displayed correctly when you hover the mouse cursor over the link, but when you copy the link to the clipboard, you will notice that Google has in fact changed that link. This leaves the option to open the site first to copy it from the browser’s address bar, or to use a tool or extension that removes the data that Google adds to links in the search results.
The link to Gmail in Google Search, for instance, should be http://www.gmail.com/ and not http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=gmail&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBwQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gmail.com%2F&ei=MooNT_vzE5GnsgaegJXbBA&usg=AFQjCNEbVP7B0UnFl1Q9J0q_Vbl9uYoYOw which it is when you copy the link to the clipboard.
Here are two options to display direct website links in Google Search:
Google Search link fix
The Firefox add-on modifies all link targets in the Google search results and all other Google properties where this behavior can be observed, so that they point to the direct web address.
Just install the extension in the Firefox web browser, a restart is not required. If you are on Google Search currently you need to reload the page or run a new search before the extension starts replacing the links.
Firefox users can download the extension from Mozilla’s official Add-ons repository for the browser.
Don’t track me Google
This is a userscript that does the exact same thing the Firefox extension does. It is compatible with Firefox and Google Chrome, and maybe other web browsers as well. The userscript in addition hides the referral link so that sites you visit do not know where you came from.
Chrome users can install the userscript right away, while Firefox users need to install the Greasemonkey or Scriptish add-on first before they can do the same thing.
The userscript can be downloaded and installed over at the official Userscripts website.