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I noticed that if I'm logged into Google Account (my Gmail and everything) and do a search in the address bar, the URL of the resultant page is really long.

Now, I was wondering: is there any sensitive data (I don't mean releasing the ability to login into my account, I would in fact consider any data about me to be sensitive) within the URL?

Or to rephrase the sentence, can I simply copy the URL (http://www.google.com.sg/search?ix=hcb&q=asdgndghj&um=1&hl=en&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.,cf.osb&biw=1138&bih=562&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=iw&ei=ix4ET_uwMYLYrQf3venKDw) and send it to a friend / paste it in a public forum?

Or do I have to manually write a URL as such: http://www.google.com/search?q=asdgndghj

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migrated from superuser.com Jan 4 '12 at 7:27

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

Could you paste (an edited) example of the URL? I don't believe so but wanted to be sure before making a post reflecting my current opinion – Michael Jan 4 '12 at 7:14
@Michael I don't quite understand, but is this what you wanted: google.com.sg/… – Pacerier Jan 4 '12 at 9:41
You sure do some weird searches in Google. =P – Alpha Jan 10 '12 at 23:59
@Alpha lols.... – Pacerier Jan 11 '12 at 0:59
I agree with the other answers that there is nothing sensitive, but if for some reason you didn't want people to prejudge search terms, you could use TinyURL to obfuscate the content of your link, or who was doing the original search. – Dallas Jan 11 '12 at 5:10
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Now I was wondering are there any sensitive data (I do not mean releasing the ability to login into my account, I would in fact consider any data about me to be sensitive) within the URL?

There is no sensitive data - apart from referrer, parameters indicating any search suggestions, corrections, safesearch restrictions and so on.

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The default Google Chrome search engine seems to have a unique ID for every install among the URL parameters though. – screener Jan 4 '12 at 18:17
@screener that was removed quite some time back, IIRC – Sathya Jan 4 '12 at 18:22

It should not (Google takes steps to ensure this) contain any sensitive information and it should be entirely safe to copy and paste. However, it does contain a bit of information which may change the search "experience", such as display settings, etc.

Also, if you did an "instant" search and the recipient does not have javascript enabled, the search will not work at all.

I would generally recommend that you were to use http://www.google.com/search?q=an+example+search, because it will adapt to whatever the user requires, such as the mobile version of the site, etc.

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