Google Not Underlining Search Result Titles

Apr 28, 2011 • 8:40 am | comments (28) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine
 

For the past few weeks I have been hearing reports of Google not underlining the titles of the search results.

That conversation recently seemed to have spiked up and more and more people are now seeing, well - not seeing, the underlined titles in the Google search results.

@andrewchen were some of the few to tweet about this and include a screen capture.

Google search results without underlines:

click for full size

Google search results with underlines (like most people see them):

click for full size

At first it I thought this might be some type of extension removing the underlines from the title but with the number of reports I am now seeing, this has to be some type of limited Google usability test.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Comments:

Caroline Constable

04/28/2011 12:50 pm

IMHO underlines are important for consistency in identifying what text is linked. 'Mystery' links on sites don't aid the user experience. I'm not seeing any benefit in a potential move to none underlined....

Kolemcrae

04/28/2011 02:25 pm

The underline part isn't super important. As long as links are obvious (different colour, size or font) then usability would still be fine. Web designers stopped using underlines in main navigation years ago.

@steveplunkett

04/28/2011 03:45 pm

Different search volumes.. must be many factors

Liza Shulyayeva

04/28/2011 05:10 pm

Much better without the underline, IMO.

Joomla development

04/29/2011 04:52 am

Based on the Geo targeting its gets different search volumes. Thanks for sharing such a valuable information with us

alina

04/29/2011 08:09 am

Yup its better without underline.I like it.

Phone Source

04/29/2011 12:07 pm

Why is Google trying to confuse the readers by not showing the underline?

Luke Jones

05/01/2011 10:00 am

It freaked me out a bit at first, but now I like it.

Joomla Goa

05/02/2011 01:46 am

I do not think that it should be a problem. Google is trying to test out what is better.

Seobot

05/04/2011 10:19 am

Google.co.in - G not underlining the titles but not in the Google.com SERP.

adamloving

05/25/2011 06:21 pm

This is happening now to me, and I hate it!

Shlomo

02/03/2014 09:57 am

I recently saw a few SERPS without the underlines. But duckduckgo always has their SERPS without underlines..much cleaner look

DuffelMuffinVIII

02/12/2014 12:35 am

It is only happening when I'm not logged in - maybe they're just testing it.

Nick

02/28/2014 10:18 pm

Horrible

Dave

03/01/2014 03:23 am

makes me think my browser is highjacked

EP

03/01/2014 06:31 am

YES. Good riddance. I think the only case where the underline might make sense is if the link is embedded in the middle of a long sentence or paragraph, since color and weight might not be enough for certain users to see the contrast. Even then, designers should consider using a custom bottom-border instead of text-decoration. Bottom-border will allow you to control the intensity of the underline (using color) and distance from the text.

Nina_W

03/01/2014 07:50 am

Although I think main navigation is a special case, I agree with the point that internal consistency is the key practice for links, rather than the hard rule of underlines and blue text. The benefit is less clutter from the underlines, hence greater readability.

Google suge pula grav

03/02/2014 01:05 pm

that's really fucked up google now I won't use it because is not damn underlined seriouselly I'm using yahoo search.

Google suge pula grav

03/02/2014 01:08 pm

FUCK YOU GOOGLE

Mohamed

03/02/2014 01:43 pm

NOW I KNOW WHY TERRORISTS BOMB USA THEY ARE DOING A GREAT JOB! TOO MANY FUCKTARDS THERE IS NOT POSSILE TO SEARCH FOR "ENABLE GOOGLE UNDERLINE" AND GOOGLE DISPLAYS "HOW TO DISABLE" EXACLTY THE FUCKING OPPOSITE SEARCH GOOGLE DESERVES TO BE BOMBED BY TERRORISTS!!!!!!!!!

Poopman Mcgee

03/05/2014 03:58 am

This is what I thought at first too. For some reason the new look weirdly resembles those spammy fake search engines...

Jacqueline Joseph

03/05/2014 08:05 am

WOW seround table predicted this 3 years ago? First saw it today and let me say, IT LOOKS SO BEAUTIFUL. SO CLEAN.

Jacqueline Joseph

03/05/2014 08:05 am

...really?

mark

03/11/2014 04:40 pm

Yet another Epic FAIL of a downgrade by Google hot on the heels of their ruination of Google Maps with the 'new' Google maps Epic FAIL. Makes me want to use Bing.

Paul

03/12/2014 05:54 am

I totally agree, Poopman.

You

03/12/2014 02:05 pm

I can see where they're coming from here. With the web evolving and becoming more "clean" and visually simplistic (much like all technology and electronics), the underlines which traditionally denote a hyperlink do see messy and functionally unnecessary for a webpage that is all hyperlinks. However, this is bugging my eyes. I'm not sure if I'm just not used to it, but at first I stared at my search results, puzzled and squinting, wondering why it was hurting my eyes. It felt like my screen got brighter. Maybe the underlines served as more than simply what they are. I think they provided a good division between the title and URL+ description that the difference in font size isn't doing alone. When I set my zoom to 90% in Chrome, the non-underlined SERPs looks much better and much more bearable on my eyes. I think they may need to test out some different font styles to make this work.

Tim

03/12/2014 08:31 pm

Why not give us a choice Google? I may just move away from using Google search if they don't allow a choice for how words appear.

Johnny

03/13/2014 03:00 pm

no you're not gonna

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