URLs Begin Disappearing in Google Searches
It seems as if the appearance of URLs in Google search results could very soon be a thing of the past.
This according to a Reddit user who noticed the change and shared a screenshot of a search that showed just the names of sites appearing in search results.
When conducting our own search to test the validity of the user’s claim, we discovered that no URLs were appearing in search results, just breadcrumbs.
Before the change, URLs would appear above the meta title, followed by breadcrumbs.
Source: Search Engine Journal
According to Search Engine Journal, Google started to move away from displaying full URLs since introducing breadcrumbs in search results.
Now it appears as if Google has begun testing out removing URLs altogether along with a site’s domain name.
Google has not yet announced whether or not it actually plans to eliminate URLs from search results.
However, if this does become a permanent change, removing URLs from search results is not expected to have much of an impact regarding SEO, and could potentially alter the perceived value of exact-match URLs.
A big concern that was voiced on Reddit though, is that verifying the legitimacy website shown in search results could become more difficult.
“In this era of search results that don’t even show the domain name, how’s Google going to keep phishing sites from using the names of the businesses they’re trying to impersonate? Worse get, might Google have to roll this back after discovering phishing sites were able to exploit this lack of domains in the search results to get people to divulge passwords, credit card numbers, and all other sorts of sensitive information?” said one Reddit user in the thread.
Considering it appears Google is still in the testing phase, it’s unlikely that this will become a permanent, widespread change if it ends up having a severely negative impact on websites in terms of click-through rate, but only time will tell.