How to remove referrals from your URLs

A simple and very effective method to detect and eliminate referrals from your URLs automatically | Skariko

How to remove referrals from your URLs
ph. teixeira-soft.com

Author: skariko | Original Date: 15/11/21 | Translated by: 31febbraio | Milano Trustless | Link: Come eliminare i referral dai vostri URL

Let's talk about a very interesting topic even though we know that the title 'How to delete referrals from your URLs' is unappealing and clickbait and does not fully enhance the topic we are going to talk about.

Let's start as always with the basics. What are referrals in URLs? They are little pieces written inside the URLs we visit that contain information that is not necessary for navigation but only serves to let someone know where we came from. Explained better and faster with a practical example with Amazon, which is one of the most used and popular sites in Italy (the links will be intentionally not clickable, we just need them for the example).

This is generally the URL you find at the top of your address bar, and if you decide to share it with someone you are passing to the other person and especially to Amazon some unnecessary information for browsing:

https://www.amazon.it/montagne-legno-grigio-stile-scandinavo/dp/B07SK8TWKL/?encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_w=JpBHC&pf_rd_p=25a7e7d4-57d6-42a3-ab94-7458d8a91cb8&pf_rd_r=K6SFZJPPJCW8JVGX31KG&pd_rd_r=61d79f8e-8e1a-45b9-8b62-8bcb072a09d8&pd_rd_wg=ivGsC&ref=pd_gw_unk


Instead, this below is the cleaned up URL. As you can see it is much shorter but the result in the end is the same. The linked page is in fact the same, only in this case we are not telling Amazon where we came from:

https://www.amazon.it/montagne-legno-grigio-stile-scandinavo/dp/B07SK8TWKL/

How to remove referrals from your URLs

The same happens with Google, for example. Go to Google with a browser other than Brave or Firefox and search for any word, such as 'apple'. As you see the URL displayed looks simple such as en.wikipedia.org > wiki > apple. If you right-click and copy the link, however, you notice that the URL actually looks like this:

https://www.google.it/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjEzM7Cx6_tAhWQHhQKHeqSCs4QFjABegQIAxAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fit.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FMela&usg=AOvVaw1g_FpMI1m32K6fRxSqWpDo

All that hullabaloo is unnecessary for browsing purposes since clicking on it will simply land you on the https:// it .wikipedia .org/wiki/apple page. This is something that Le Alternative site to Google Search offers generally do not do.

Referrals on Twitter

ph. Brett Jordan from Pexels

Referrals then follow us all over the web sometimes they are even written in plain language and reveal how we got to that link. Very stupid and trivial example. If we are on Twitter and click on a hashtag the URL at the top will be something like https://twitter.com/hashtag/alternative?src=hashtag_click. The part after the question mark is not necessary to reach and see all the #alternative tags but identifies us as, 'you got this far because you clicked on the #alternative hashtag' (src=hashtag_click means exactly that).

Well now, we understand that this is not all easily understood nor particularly dangerous. These are widely used methods of understanding where people are coming from. When we forward the link to someone though, in forums, groups, or among friends, it would tend to be good to remove all parts with referrals.

It is not entirely easy to figure out what should be removed without a little background knowledge. Referrals are the whole part after the question mark within a URL. Other times they are followed by the &. But this is not a fixed rule, and sometimes removing a question mark or an & might break the URL link to the site. You need minimal familiarity with the concept of URLs, domains and referrals.

How to remove referrals from your URLs? With ClearURLs!

A simple and very effective method to eliminate referrals from your URLs automatically is to use the Firefox and Brave/Chrome extension called ClearURLs, an open source extension (1). Thanks to ClearURLs in fact referrals will be deleted automatically from most sites. You will not have to do anything, surfing normally you will see your URLs magically shorten and from now on you can share everything without filling the web with tracers and referrals!

Sources: (1) ClearURLs on GitHub

Le Alternative - Twitter

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