Google Testing URL Above Search Results Snippet

I am seeing reports from searchers that Google is testing a new layout for the organic and paid search results. In this test, Google is placing the destination or display URL above the search snippet or description and below the title of the search result. Typically the URL is placed under the snippet or description, not above it.

@kazuyasasa and James Carswell posted screen shots of the change. Here is one picture:

Google has tested the display URL above the AdWords ad description before. We have a post about that test in 2008 titled Google AdWords Tests Display URL Above Ad Description. Google has also been officially display the display URL in the promoted AdWords ads in some cases as of last week.

Here is a large picture of the ads and free search results showing the display URL under the title but above the description area.

Related Stories:

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdWords | Google: User Interface | Google: Web Search

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • http://www.moxby.org.uk Martin

    Google always have to change something. I would really be interested to know the logic behind this particular test. People are more likely to click through if the title and description match what they perceive is relevant to their search terms. I’m not sure a long URL under the title will make the searchers’ jobs any easier.

    The only thing in terms of SEO is that it will re-emphasise the importance of having some of the target keywords in the URL. Apart from that, I’m not clear what the purpose of this test would be. Any thoughts?

  • http://www.sbrana.com/ Alessio Sbrana

    On Google.it in the last hours someone is seeing serps like these: http://www.sbrana.com/2011/05/nuovo-layout-delle-serp-di-google/

  • S.A.

    Google is slowly and possibly consciously “destroying” the whole idea of URLs. A high percentage of direct traffic (which is not really direct since Google is referrer) is now coming from Google because people type URLs in a very lacklustre way. On large sites this can be as much as 30 – 40% of the “real” direct traffic and it’s growing rapidly.

    So why moving the URL up? Because they are now making it even more obvious that this document is not only a unique URL but also a Title-on-Google. In fact, they would love that this document was only a Title-on-Google. What’s the need for that strange looking URL? So by moving the URL they have made it obvious that the URL is really redundant and they can remove when time comes.

    I’ll take of my tin foil hat now.

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