DirectLinks: Safari Extension That Circumvents Google and Facebook Link Redirects

Great little Safari extension from Canisbos:

This extension circumvents certain techniques used by Google and Facebook to track link clicks.

When you click a link in Google search results, Google uses JavaScript to replace the actual link with an indirect one, which they use for click tracking. Google then redirects the browser to the actual destination after logging the click. DirectLinks disables the JavaScript that replaces real links with indirect ones, so that when you click a search result link, Safari goes straight to the destination.

If you’ve ever tried dragging-and-dropping a URL from Google search results and getting a Google redirection URL instead of the actual URL you wanted (and Google’s JavaScript will show the actual URL in the status field if you hover over the link, so it’s impossible to tell that’s what’s going to happen), this extension is for you. There are obvious privacy benefits as well.

[Update, 16 Nov 2020: Canisbos’s entire website is now defunct, so this link now redirects to The Internet Archive’s cached version. The extension doesn’t work any more, either, of course. So it goes.]

Saturday, 5 September 2015