http://www.google.com/url? instead of the destination’s actual address, it’s an indirect link.
Optionally, it can also rewrite the links in Google image search results so that clicking a thumbnail will open the linked image directly. The setting is in the gDirectLinks area of Safari’s extension manager.
There are three main reasons you might want to use this extension.
First, it ensures that true URLs, and not Google’s indirect URLs, are recorded in Safari’s history. If you frequently use Safari’s History menu, you may have noticed that when you open a Google search result in a new tab, such as by ⌘-clicking it, the URL that shows up in the History menu is the indirect one. That’s not very helpful, since you can’t tell at a glance what page or site the URL refers to. (Apple has fixed this problem in Safari 5.2, which as of this writing is not yet in general release.)
Second, it lets you more easily copy actual links from search results. Normally, if you right-click a search result link and select Copy Link, what you get will be the indirect link, which looks something like
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=example&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CPABEBYwBA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fexample.org%2F&ei=uhuzT5mMNIuGiQKvnZmtBA&usg=AFQjCNFbkYxzDIXuUwBwoB2QRwTWALaVrQ. Although you can extract the real destination URL from that mess, this extension makes it so you don’t have to.
onclick handler that Google uses to replace direct links with click-tracking ones. However, I can’t say for sure that they don’t use any other method to track your clicks.
If you enable the option to rewrite image search links, clicking a thumbnail will open the linked image directly, and clicking the filename below the thumbnail will directly open the page that contains the image.
This extension’s functionality is a subset of LinkThing’s. If you use LinkThing and enable the Google link rewriting option, you don’t need gDirectLinks.