Here’s a useful website for overcoming a defect in Google: IndustryStandardSoftware.com’s
Google Result Link Converter. It solves the problem that copying links from a
page of search results is harder than it needs to be. For example, here are the
first few results for “Oxford world class city”.
These are long links, and Google has shortened the link text below the titles by replacing parts of it with ellipses. So copying and pasting this text won’t work.
Most people would probably mouse over the title, right-click, and select “Copy Link Location” (or the equivalent in whichever browser they’re using) from the resulting menu:
But when you do that, you get a bloated monster full of Google mumbo jumbo:
Another method, which works most of the time on my system, is to open the link in a browser and copy from the browser’s address bar. The Google link redirects the browser to the original page, and its URL then appears in the address bar. But that doesn’t always work if the file is a PDF. When I tried it on the results above, it did with the second search result, but not with the first. Instead of displaying the page, the browser invited me to either download or open it with a program. When I did the latter, it opened in a PDF viewer which displayed the URL as a title, but didn’t give me a way to copy it.
But, yesterday I searched about this problem and found IndustryStandardSoftware.com’s link converter:
And it works. I was able to paste those monstrous PDF links into it and get back their original URLs.
Johnnie Walker’s blog Eat My Business has a post about this: Online Tools to Convert those Long Google Search Engine Results Links Back to Normal Links. As well as the Link Converter, he references a Stack Exchange discussion about the problem, and a script for the Greasemonkey add-on for Firefox. This is probably out of date though, looking at the comments about it. He also says that the links appear when you’re logged in to a Google account, but for me, they happen all the time.