up vote 8 down vote accepted

One of the reasons is so they can do click tracking on what link you clicked, on their search results page. This allows them to detect and optimize their search results.

For example if they noticed everyone that searches for "batman" only ever selects the 2, 3, 6, 7 links, they could remove the 1, 4, 5 links as they are obviously bad results for this search word.

Also you should take a look at Google's search history. I can tell you are logged in from this link and that your search history is being logged. This will give you a good indication of the information that Google collects when you click this link.

  • 1
    If it is a link on your site, you should already be able to see what they clicked to exit your site (in this case just happens to be google.com), right? What is the benefit of the long link vs a short link that they display anyway ? – kush Oct 3 '13 at 14:50
  • This is how Google searches you. It now not only knows what people are looking for, and where they are looking for it, but also what they are not finding. – Dagelf Dec 11 '14 at 9:09

This is a method which Google has been using to track what links their users click. When you click on that long link, Google knows it.

If you want to turn it off, see the answers to this question.

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