We have surely shared a URL from our computer or from our phone, meaning that we have seen how this web address has a lot of characters and other information that makes the web address look “ugly”. For example, said information shows the device on which we have accessed the webpage or the source from which we have come to the webpage. However, this information should not be shown when sharing the URL with a contact. After having this issue for a long time, Google Chrome for Android is finally getting rid of it.
For an example of an URL with a lot of characters, we just have to do a simple search on Amazon. We will see how every character after the / (which is placed before “ref=”) is totally unnecessary when sharing a URL with other people.
As we can see, there is a big difference between both URLs. If we pay attention to it, we can use the computer and easily get rid of all that information before sending the web address to another person. However, this can be much more complicated if we work from a smartphone because it is more difficult to select and cut content than doing it on a PC.
This is why Google wants to solve this problem, so Google Chrome for Android will automatically trim all of these URLs and send only the main address when we use the share option on Android to share URLs with other people.
In order for this feature to work, it is necessary that websites have the HTML tag “rel=canonical” in their code. The webpage’s main URL must be reflected on this tag without any character or unnecessary information. So, when we want to share a webpage from Google Chrome for Android, the browser will refer to the tag and send the web address instead of sending the original URL.
This means that all the information hidden in the URLs (previous webpages, Google Analytics, referral links, etc.) will not be shown on the web address, so your contact will get a completely clean URL. We can always send the entire URL by copying it as it is.
Besides this feature on Chrome, there currently are several tools (also known as URL shorteners) that allows us to shorten a URL by concealing it within a much simpler one. For example, Twitter has a URL shortener that allows us to hide long web addresses within a much shorter one like https://t.co/xxx.
Google also has its own URL shortener, which allows us to considerably reduce the URL’s size so it is easier to write down, even making it look prettier when sharing it with others.