Remove Google Search Tracking URL

Google tracks every link you click on when you search by sending you to a tracking url, and then redirecting you to the real website you clicked on. Google is able to track you regardless of whether or not you have disabled cookies or if you are running in incognito mode. Every click can be (almost) individually tracked.

Google is tricky because if you hold your mouse over the link it shows the real website url in the bottom left corner. But if you click on the link you will be sent to the site you requested with a very descriptive tracking url in tow.

Google search tracking url is unseen

A mouseover the link shows the expected url

For example, if I type in Google Search, “,” you can see in the screenshot that is displayed correctly there at bottom left. But if you right click on the link and Copy Link Address, the result is something quite different:

Google search tracking url can be captured

Capturing the search tracking url

To fix this you can install a Greasemonkey script called Google Result-Privacy. Chromium and Chrome have limited native Greasemonkey support, and Firefox requires a plugin.

Google Result-Privacy Greasemonkey install pageJust click the green Install button in the top right. If you see a big Download button it is just an ad (I know, I clicked on it, thinking it was the Greasemonkey install).

Now when I copy the link when searching for “” I get:

Of course, incognito mode disables all extensions so your Greasemonkey script will be disabled and you will get the tracking link back again. However, if you run in your own profile, extensions will still operate.

How To Close Your Google+ Account

For a few months I have used Google+ to add links to my blogs. I have a suspicion that most Google+ users know this and skip over the links. With the realization that I am not really contributing to Google+ and hence not getting much in return, it is time once again for less Google, or more precisely, no Google+.

At first I wasn’t headed for no Google+, I just wanted to take a lower profile. The Google+ interface made such a fuss about me trying to remove my surname (it won’t let you) that I just decided it wasn’t worth the harassment.

If you are thinking of closing your Google+ account, understand that for some people it is a drastic step, so maybe you want to sleep on it. Don’t be closing your Google+ account and later commenting that I made you do it.

To close your Google+ account:

1. Log into your Google account and go directly to Google+.

2. In the upper right, click on your account name (it may show as your e-mail address).

Click on your Google+ account name

3. Click on “Account settings”

Click on Google+ account settings

4. Find the Services section and select “Delete profile and remove associated Google+ features.”

Delete Google+ profile and features

5. On the next page click on “Delete Google+ content,” check the “Required” box, and click “Remove selected services.”

Delete Google+ content

6. The final page confirms you have indeed been successful in deleting your Google+ account.

Success page after deleting Google+

Well done, Aqualeena will be proud.

Delete Chromium History On Exit

Chromium browsing history

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Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable browser. Google takes this source code and with some additions produces Chrome. As you can see from the two screenshots below there is no visual … [Continue reading]

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Less Google Reader More Liferea

Cleaning up subscriptions in Liferea

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