Google Tests Replacing URL With Site Name In Search Results; Again

Google logoGoogle is yet again experimenting with the snippet display in the search results. Google Operating System noticed Google bringing back a test from 2011, where they replaced the URL in the snippets with the site name.

Here is a picture of how the Google search results look without the URL but with the site names:


As you can see, it is almost exactly like the 2011 test.

Earlier this year, Google also tested removing the URL section completely.

You can see more examples at Google Operating System, and this was first spotted by Techno-net.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Google: User Interface | Google: Web Search | Top News


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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  • Jason Mailley

    Microdata will finally get its hour of fame.

  • Ali Moghadam

    Could it be an attempt to devalue exact match keyword domains, to encourage brand reinforcement rather than keyword targeting? It would seem to fit the current Google method of thinking regarding that sort of stuff.

  • Linda Caplinger

    Barry, but they’re not exactly putting the full path in here – you see one instance of “.com” but the others are truncating off the TLD portion. What are they pulling from here? Did you look at microdata as Jason alluded to?

  • Stephen Ostermiller

    If they are doing that, shouldn’t they be altering the titles to remove the dash and everything after it in the above example? The SERPs would look a lot more attractive if the information wasn’t duplicated between the title and the green for most of the results.

  • daveintheuk

    It is an attempt to devalue domains. Google is shifting towards being a “find” engine, not a “search” engine. As they start to pull-in (steal) more information from publishers and information owners they are keen to give far less prominence to their data sources (or “the internet” as we like to call it).

  • igl00

    Hate this.

  • digideth

    This would be one of the worst changes they could ever make to the SERPS.

  • Bruce Clay India

    Yes, You’re right Digideth. There is no issues if they display only website name (not tld portion) what if a website is ranking with more than one TLD??? It could confuse user. For example: An Indian wont like to click on ebay .com version. he would like to click on ebay. in.

  • Scott Davis

    It’s an excuse to push people to using breadcrumbs in their markup. Just because they’re not showing the domain doesn’t mean they’re not using it to determine placement.

  • Chander

    For SEO Prospective After Click Define the target page will open in browser…That is one way to find out which page is coming in SERPs.

  • albert yemenian

    Actually, this may only increase the value of the .com
    Because if people do not know what T.L.D. they are clicking onto, most will default to the thinking of “it is” or the person searching will have to go to the browser to try and figure out the .whatever they may be on.

  • Kretek

    Couldn’t they just edit the title tag to reflect eBay India? Their title tags, meta descriptions, and inclusion of meta keywords for their site (hah), is a bit outdated. Seems like laziness on eBay’s side, rather than Google’s problem.

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