Some people may have recently noticed that when they open a new Google page there are a few extra characters appearing after the standard Google URL address. The characters are ?gws_rd=cr. However, this is nothing to be overly concerned about, (it is not a virus/malicious redirect) as it is just Google redirecting you to a Google server that is based on you location.
The ‘?’ in the URL defines a parameter to which, in my case, Google.com now get redirected to said instructions after the ‘?’ mark in the URL
- gws = google web server
- rd = redirect
- cr = country
Here is an example screenshot below of what I mean.
Now to stop this from happening and use Google.com instead of being redirected automatically, simply make a small edit to your web browsers homepage. In this example I will be editing the homepage set in Google Chrome.
At the top right corner of your browser select the Options icon (looks like 3 horizontal bars on top of each other) and then choose Settings. Under Appearances, select Change next to the previously set Search Engine URL (in this case Google.com)
Now simply add ncr after the forward slash, so the URL now reads http://www.google.com/ncr
Now close your browser (you may need to clear your cache for the edits to take effect) and open it again. Now the ?gws_rd=cr will no longer be present.
The same can be done in Firefox and Internet Explorer very easily.
For Firefox users simply head to your Options windows (Firefox drop-down menu>Options>Options) and under the General tab edit the URL.
For Internet Explorer users, simply head to your Internet Options window (Tools>Internet Options) and make the same edits as stated above.