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I've noticed recently (last few weeks) that when I click on a youtube video from a Google search I get taken to a redirect page (happens instantly) before I actually land on the video on youtube.com. It means when you click the back button, you hit the redirect page and just get sent back to youtube.

Back button drop-down

Obviously you can open the history and go two pages back to the search results but but I dont understand the purpose of Google doing this.

(I can imagine it would annoy the hell out of people who dont understand whats happening...)

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Possibly Google have only recently started doing this for YouTube, but this is standard practice for Google's search links and has been for some time. Perhaps since YouTube is a Google property they haven't bothered until now, the redirect is normally instant and doesn't appear until you actually click on it.

Normally the redirect is clever enough to let you get back to your search results, so I'm not sure why you keep getting sent in circles. Possibly you changed a browser setting a few weeks ago? Maybe on relating to cookies?

As covered by a similar question on the topic, it is essentially to allow Google to track which search results you select. This serves the dual purpose of refining search results and tracking you.

There is a Firefox extension if you are using Firefox that removes the Google links, there are probably alternatives if you are using another browser.

Edit: Some Opera users report this problem when they set it to "identify as firefox".

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