Author Topic: USPS Tracking in Google search results  (Read 1109 times)

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Offline nickha

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USPS Tracking in Google search results
« on: February 28, 2023, 12:13:44 PM »
When I search Google for "USPS tracking", the first thing I get on the results page is a blank with "Enter tracking number", with "Track your package (Data provided by USPS)" above, a "Track package" button below and a note saying "Only your tracking number will be sent to USPS". I entered my tracking number into the slot and clicked, instead of going to the USPS website that was listed as first result of search right below that.

Is this a legit feature of Google, or did I just click on an ad?

There was talk in 2019 that something like this would be a feature in Google searches, but it didn't look like this. I did it without thinking. I became suspicious when it said twice that "this feature is not available right now" (or sth like that). Only later I realized that I was not clicking on an actual USPS link.

Offline DavidR

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Re: USPS Tracking in Google search results
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2023, 01:54:18 PM »
Not knowing what you saw, it is hard to say for sure, so I did a google search (though not in the USA), if your results looked or are the same  ?

Then the input box would appear to be connected to the USPS link above it (probably because that is a high likelihood of what most would be looking for).  However, I would personally go to the main USPS.com site so you know you are dealing with the company directly.

The old article about google searches and one more recent one about suspect sites in Ads (so Ad links should have the Ad notification) leading to suspect sites.  The article I read recently warns not to click google ad links.  To that end I have disabled the display of Ads in Google searches.  Even then always check, hover your mouse pointer over the link and see if the URL looks correct.
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Offline nickha

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Re: USPS Tracking in Google search results
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2023, 02:15:37 PM »
Yes, that was exactly the image I saw. I acted in haste and clicked on it without thinking. It does look innocent enough and I did track my package thru it ultimately (although it didn't take me to the USPS website and that makes me suspicious too), but I would never have clicked on it if it's not part either of Google or USPS.

I always point the cursor to check the actual link, but here it is not possible, there is no link.

What I'm worried about is that by using it I let sth enter my computer w/o knowing it.

Offline DavidR

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Re: USPS Tracking in Google search results
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2023, 05:57:55 PM »
Given what I saw in my visit, it does look OK, but as I said, I would tend to go to the USPS site (as you would know if that is genuine) and manually find the USPS Tracking function.

I think that option was there as it is probably high in the ranking of searches relating to USPS.  This cuts through some of the steps in USPS to get to that option.

Unfortunately it is not only Google but also USPS trying to be helpful in the common search questions.  The 'Where is may package?' option appears to be a link which you should be able to hover over and see the source.
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Offline redwolfe_98

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Re: USPS Tracking in Google search results
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2023, 02:48:05 PM »
i think it is legit and that you don't have anything to worry about.

i didn't see anything that said "ad"

what harm would it do if it wasn't legit? none that i can think of.

incidentally, i use the "ublock origin" ad-blocker browser-extension and it blocks most, if not all, "ads," in google search-results.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2023, 02:53:52 PM by redwolfe_98 »

Offline DavidR

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Re: USPS Tracking in Google search results
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2023, 05:30:55 PM »
i think it is legit and that you don't have anything to worry about.

i didn't see anything that said "ad"

what harm would it do if it wasn't legit? none that i can think of.

incidentally, i use the "ublock origin" ad-blocker browser-extension and it blocks most, if not all, "ads," in google search-results.

That is a dangerous assumption as you never know what is behind the door until you open it.

I also use uBlock Origin, but that doesn't block Ads in google search results by default. 

I can't recall how I removed them (not that long ago), but they no longer appear at the top of the google search results.
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Offline bob3160

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Re: USPS Tracking in Google search results
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2023, 12:30:54 AM »
It is a feature offered in Google search.
It makes it easy to track your package without having to use any other app or website.
https://blog.google/products/gmail/package-tracking/
« Last Edit: March 05, 2023, 12:33:39 AM by bob3160 »
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Offline bob3160

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Re: USPS Tracking in Google search results
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2023, 02:01:57 PM »
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