Why is “Amazon” written with strange characters in this URL?

When I do a search on Amazon France, one of the URL parameters is “ÅMÅŽÕÑ”, as in the URL below:

https://www.amazon.fr/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/256-9830746-1362835?__mk_fr_FR=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Webcam

Any idea why they have this strange parameter there?

Answer

Using special characters is a method to tell the browser to use UTF8 encoding, and this probably is Amazon engineers putting in a bit of an easteregg instead of a dull utf8=✓ thing.

For the record, all non-English versions have an __mk_{languagecode}_{countrycode} as URL parameter, the only one I found to differ from the ÅMÅŽÕÑ thing is the Japanese version, which uses カタカナ. カタカナ is Katakana spelled in Katakana.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : laurent , Answer Author : ale

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