Last night, As i was about to switch off my computer, I noticed something strange on my browser. It was a weird URL in the address bar of Google chrome. I thought its a bug and reloaded the homepage (google.com) but again the weird part appeared at the end of google.com. It was like appended at the end.
Normally when we visit Google search, we find ourselves at www.google.com but i was being redirected to www.google.co.in/?gws_rd=cr. At first, i thought that my PC is infected. But it wasn’t.
I tried switching to different browsers and incognito mode as well, but the result was the same. I was still being redirected to a strange URL. Check the Image below.
Then i searched for gws_rd=cr in Google search, but i couldn’t find any accurate answer. I spent an hour on this and finally figured out that GWS meant Google Web Server. Source Wikipedia. But the rest part rd=cr was still a mystery to me.
Google Product Forum Sources
Today i decided to search for gws_rd=cr in Google Product Forums and guess what? I found a thread about it. Here’s the link. That thread lead me to another website called stack exchange where some people have answered to this question.
Some people assumed rd stood for remote desktop. That could be the worst threat to your computer. Since remote desktop means someone can remotely view or control your computer. But don’t worry that was just a wild assumption.
Finally the mystery is solved, rd=cr simply meant redirect and country. gws (google web server)_rd(redirect)=cr(country). So basically, when you visit google.com they are redirecting you to a google web server according to your country. That’s what it can be. Check the image source given below.
However if you have any more sources or info, leave it in the comments. This will help to add more updates to this post.