Google: Don't Hide URLs In Search Results. We Don't Like It.

May 6, 2013 • 8:42 am | comments (9) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

Google without URLs@tecnonetblog, a man who spots probably 2 - 5 Google experiments per week, noticed a new one where Google is not displaying the search results URL in the search results interface.

As you can see from the image here of the mobile search results, Google is showing the site's title, description and even sitelinks but not listing for the URL of the site. Again, this is just an experiment Google is running and it is not something we will 100% see ourselves anytime soon. Google may or may not decide to go with it.

You can see the desktop version of this over here:

Google without URLs

Why does TechCrunch here get a URL listed? I am not sure. Maybe because of the authorship snippet? Maybe this is just a weird random test on the top number of results?

One thing is for sure, webmasters do not like it. I blogged about it at Search Engine Land and the comments are not in favor of it. Threads from Google Web Search Help and Threadwatch are also not in favor.

I can see why. It is nice knowing the URL of a site before you click on it. The URL is often very relevant to the search experience.

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help and Threadwatch.

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Michael Merritt

05/06/2013 01:08 pm

There's also a UI element to it. I suppose they could find some other way to fix this, but for me the green URL helps break up the sea of blue a bit.

SEO Expert - Rahul Trivedi

05/06/2013 01:50 pm

Why google is doing such kind of test? I really can't their idea behind it? How many of you like this approach of google? I don't like personally.


05/06/2013 03:08 pm

I refuse to click on a listing without a provided or preview URL. I do not trust Google enough with their secure searches and warnings of compromised sites. Very, very poor idea.


05/07/2013 12:49 am

hover the mouse?

Soni Sharma

05/07/2013 04:57 am

Even I don't like results without URLs.. I suggest Google should not test too much. users are now switching to Bing.


05/07/2013 07:40 am

Really.. Looks too bad.


05/07/2013 08:06 am

Someone mentioned on SEL that it could be to give Google room for one more adspace above the fold (if they remove URLs on ads too). Or it may be that ads-only get URLs displayed so they get more clicks. What this "experiment" shows is that Google often make changes to suit them at the expense of the searcher. Removing a URL (a very useful piece of information) is all about Google asking themselves "how can we make more money?" - even if it makes their SERPs worse. That's the power you have when you monopolise search. We'll moan, and then we'll here 3 months later that Google's monopoly is holding steady - business as usual. And if you have to rollover a result to see its URL (as someone suggested in this thread), how is that better than scanning URLs with your eyes down a result set? It would be a pain in the neck to have to rollover each result to see its URL.


05/07/2013 04:13 pm

To encourage more Webmasters to use Google+ and rich snippets?

Kasun Harshana

10/23/2013 02:27 pm

Seriously i hate this update. this make me mad at all. Yukkkkkk >.

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