Whilst checking out the competition on Google for “web design prestwich” I clicked a few results and noticed Google has inserted a redirect page between the results and the target web page. You have to be quick to notice it but it’s definitely there. The redirect URL is:
As you can see, that result is for the site “Qype”
If you mouseover the results when they first load you’ll see the site’s address in your browser status bar, but click on the link and then go back to Google and mouseover and you’ll see the Google redirect URL instead. See the before and after screen grabs below:
Why are Google doing this? In December Google announced they were rolling out personalized results for everyone, not just logged in users. Google are tracking what you click and using that data to change the results you see.