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Old Feb 7, 2011, 06:56 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Safari history: is Google spoofing?

I'm not sure if this is wholly on topic and it's a bit wild
but here goes.

I've noticed something strange in Safari history pages
when visiting sites from a Google search.
As might be expected a click on one of the links on a Google search page
results in a single entry in Safari's browsing history.
The entry itself, however, is unexpected.
There is no record of our visiting the page we thought we were going to.
Instead the entry records a visit to Google.

Safari's history page (Safari 5.0.3) is divided into two collumns:
the title of the page last visited and the page url.
In the case of our clicking a link in Google
the Page Last Visited column contains the string "(no title)".
In the address column the entry reads:
http //www.google.co.uk/url? followed by a jumble of characters
which includes the url of the page being accessed (minus the http://).

Safari's history makes it look as if we have not visited the page we
wanted but are instead looking at a page generated by Google.

Intrigued I took a look at how this was handled in Firefox.
Two history entries are created for the one link.
The first is exactly as above except that instead of "(no title)"
the title is "url". The second entry is the url and title of the page
being accessed.

Google's Chrome provides us with two entries just like Firefox.

The Firefox and Chrome entries suggest that the link takes us to Google
which throws up a page of its own from which it somehow calls up the
page being linked to.

Why then is Safari history only showing the one page?
It could of course just be a feature
but what if Safari were correctly reporting that the click on the link
resulted in no more than a single visit to a single page, a Google page?
What if when we click the link the request goes to Google which then
reads the page being linked to and redisplays it as its own.
That is, is Google spoofing and somehow manipulating browser history etc
to make it look otherwise?

I'm sure this is all a bit fanciful.
Perhaps someone could clarify?

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Old Jan 13, 2013, 09:46 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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I have noticed and wondered the same thing.

Here's a Safari extension that fixes the issue for links clicked on Google and Twitter:

Don't tell me Macs don't last: 2007 iMac, 2007 Mac Mini, 2008 MacBook Air, all Vintage.
(iMac obsoletion: April 28, 2015, MBA: October 14, 2015, Mac Mini: March 9, 2016)

Last edited by ArtOfWarfare; Jan 14, 2013 at 06:54 AM.
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Old Apr 7, 2013, 01:00 PM   #3
Joseph Bayly
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Join Date: Aug 2012
what about Google News?

I've tried Detox, as well as gDirectlinks (another Safari plugin that does the same thing), but neither of them seems to do anything for links I click on news.google.com

I use Google News all the time, and for some reason my web browser history isn't showing the articles I actually read. It just shows a bunch of news.google.com links.

Anybody have a solution?

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