Say you have this really-really-cool-neato writeup that you want everyone to see. You take the URL that shows up in your browser's "Address" bar and you paste it to your friends who may not be all that E2 savvy.
That's all well and good, but you're probably screwing with the softlinks without even knowing about it.
You have your URL, and Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta.
See the part that says "&lastnode_id=number"? That's how E2 ranks softlinks. When you get to the node, E2 records both the origin and the destination of the link, and ranks the softlinks at the bottom. (That way, when you click, the link between those two nodes grows stronger, and the softlink increments higher in rank. This idea is the basis for how Everything works, and dates back to E1.)
"What should I do?" Simple. Just chop the lastnode section off the URL when you give it out. The link above should convert to:
It's simple, preserves the softlink ranking, and doesn't bog down the server as much.