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Chrome 64 Automatically Shortens URLs when Copied

     
12:00 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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[theverge.com...]

Sounds dubious:

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.
12:07 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I noticed it last week. As long as I can still view the entire path when I want, I don't care.

Most users probably like it.
12:10 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Wonder what the reasoning behind this is?

Fixing something that ain't broke.

Chrome is the new nanny. (sigh)
12:15 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Agreed. Breaking anchor tags is bad.

Also, if it is trimming get parameters, it will also prevent sharing links where get parameters matter - like links to Google SERPS.
12:17 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Actually IMO Chrome is anti-nanny.

Chrome simplifies when it can, aiming for a faster & more direct user experience. You have to really use Chrome for a while to discover what a great browser it really is.

I can appreciate that many webmasters have trouble with the progress expressed in the Chrome browser. I too used Firefox for many years, but innovation moves forward and besides techies, Firefox is not used by most normal users... the type that visit our sites and buy things.

The most used browser worldwide is Chrome, especially mobile, and as a site owner & developer I value experiencing the Web in the same way my users do.
12:41 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Tracking!
12:49 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I don't think it is a shortening service (like bit.ly) engine. This uses canonicals.

[androidpolice.com...]

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.


[engadget.com...]

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.
1:08 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I doubt anchors are actually removed. Unfortunately, none of the articles provide a source.

It's helpful to remove tracking parameters from URLs from our perspective, too. You don't want to attribute a sale to CPC (because the GET parameters of the shared URL say so) when it was actually a referral, direct hit or what have you. Spreading those URLs corrupts the data.

However, there are some edge cases when using canonical URLs. I use those sometimes when the content is very similar, but not necessarily the same. In those cases, I can't guarantee the altered shared URL will show the same content. But perhaps that's misuse of the canonical tag.
2:39 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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If it uses the canonical URL its not a bad idea. Does it only work for pages with canonical tags? In that case if it also keeps anchors it should work well most of the time. Ideally it should give you the option of copying the entire URL if you want it.
7:37 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Tracking
Yeah, there's that :)

Not to be a Pollyanna but there are a few SEO upsides to being tracked by Google. Just lately visiting your pages with Chrome brought immediate verification from Googlebot-Mediapartners for Better Ads Standards.
5:25 am on Feb 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Typo correction: Mediapartners-Google
[support.google.com...]
5:32 am on Feb 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Anybody actually get it to work?

I tried it with Chrome and I didn't see the shortening.
5:51 am on Feb 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Only happens when sharing a link using v64 with the latest update (something the article overlooked I think.)
11:33 pm on Mar 25, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I didn't think it was a big deal at first, but now I deal with it all day long and it's a real PITA.
 

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