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The URL Cleaner (http://www.minerazzi.com/tools/url-cleaner/muc.php) is our most recent tool.

Clean URLs from search engine result pages and websites, including Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, Wikipedia, and others.

Introduction

  • The Problem
    Sometimes collection curators and content developers use web scrapers (Wikipedia, 2018a) to extract URLs from websites and search result pages.If a web scraper is not available or the target search engine reacts against the scraping (Wikipedia, 2018b), URL extraction can still be possible by installing a browser add-on like Copy Selected Links or a similar plugin. Once installed, users can right-click selected text and copy the URL of any links it contains. To copy all links from a page, they just need to press Ctrl + A to select the entire page text, right-click the selected text, and copy all available URLs at once.Regardless of how URLs are collected (with or without web scrapers), the end result might be a list of dirty, ugly records with obscure attribute-value pairs appended by the search engine.Sometimes the list of URLs include entries with:

      • URLs pointing to social networks. These URLs are often viewed by collection curators as “plastic contamination” in search results suppose to be “organic”. Typical examples are results from Google and similar search engines.
      • URLs about self-promotion. The same search engine might include URLs pointing to unrequested content like its own products, services, partners/ads, links to additional content, etc. Typical examples are results from Google and URLs extracted from Wikipedia webpages.
      • URLs with special characters. For instance, those defining queries (?), fragment identifiers (#), and hash-bangs (#!), among others (Wikipedia, 2018c; 2018d).
      • URLs with some characters encoded.
      • URLs containing mailto:, javascript:, or data:
      • 6-22-2018 Update: URLs obfuscated by shortening services: e.g., bit.ly, goo.gl, is.gd, t.co, and many more. Regardless of their merits, shortened URLs can open the door to all sort of problems (Wikipedia, 2018e). These are frequently viewed by collection curators as unnecessary noise.
  • The Solution
    Would it be nice to have a tool that lets users generate by default a list of clean, sorted, and deduplicated URLs, with options for selectively include/exclude some of the above contaminants? This is precisely what our Minerazzi URL Cleaner (MUC) does.
  • Unlike other URL cleaners, MUC cleans multiple URLs at once from search engines and websites, and can be used free of charge. Before proceeding any further, lets explain what MUC is and is not. The tool is a data cleaner and a lightweight version of our popular Editor and Curator tool. It is not a web scraper, URL validator, or URL shortener resolver, but can be used to clean results from these.
  • In the next section, we describe some uses for MUC, its features and limitations.

What is computed?

  • Searches Support
    MUC was designed to edit search results from the following.

    • Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, and DuckDuckGo
    • 100searchengines, HotBot, Ask, and textise.net
    • Google Scholar, and Wikipedia

    The tool is compatible with individual sites and might be so with other search engines. Whenever possible, we are open to add support for other search engines as suggested by users.

  • Editing Features
    The tool implements the following edits by default.

    • Social networks
      URLs pointing to Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Youtube, Vimeo, and Tumblr are removed.
    • Self-promotions
      URLs about the supported search engines and pointing to their products, services, and partners/ads, or any additional content are removed.
    • Special characters
      Sections of a URL that start with ? # [ ] @ ! $ & ‘ ( ) * , ; = are removed. Trailing forward slashes (/) are also removed.
    • Special strings
      URLs with mailto:, javascript:, data: are removed.
    • Encoded characters
      URL %-encoded characters are replaced by their unencoded versions.
    • Shorteners (6-22-2018 Update)
      URLs obfuscated by shortening services (nearly 600 of these services) are removed.
    • One or more of the above edits can be disabled by properly checking the corresponding checkboxes.

    Since these features are enabled by default, if a run produces no results it means that either all URLs are fully contaminated or there are no URLs to edit.

  • First time users
    We recommend first time users install the Copy Selected Links , or a similar add-on, before proceeding any further. Then do a search in Google and, with the add-on installed, clean URLs, first selectively and then at full blast, MUC.
  • Tool limitations
    Up to 5,000 URLs can be submitted at once. We arbitrarily imposed this limit to (a) provide fast responses, (b) minimize browser crashes, and (c) minimize abuses.
  • Last but not least, the tool might fail to remove non English, obfuscated, or encrypted characters.

 

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