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Google’s latest consumer version of Chrome, version number 64, just started cleaning up messy referral links for you. Now, when you go to share an item, you’ll no longer see a long tracking string after a link, just the primary link itself, as spotted by Android Police.
This feature now happens automatically when sharing links in Chrome, either by the Share menu or by copying the link and pasting it elsewhere. Even though it slices off the extra bit of the URL, this doesn’t affect referral information. If you choose, you can copy and paste directly from the URL bar to grab the link in entirety.
As Android Police points out, while this is a useful feature, it does have a couple downsides, albeit nitpicky ones. For example, it eliminates anchor tags that will bring a user to a specific part within a longer article, so visiting a link that has been shared in Chrome will land you at the top of the page.
We suspect this feature is related to the "canonical page" URLs Google started supporting some time ago. We've seen similar features in AMP pages so that sharing the content would share a usable URL. The general URL streamlining seems subtly different, though. It doesn't work in Chrome v63 or earlier, but it's available in v64.
To get the new streamlined URL feature, you'll need to use the Chrome Share menu, accessed via the three vertical dots at the top of your browser screen. Some links need the extra info to get you to the right position on a given page, though. If that's the case, you can still copy URLs manually to share with your buddies.
TrackingYeah, there's that :)