Trust Issues Without URLs Showing in Google Mobile?
101 Domain

Will There Be Trust Issues Without URLs Showing in Google Mobile?

31

There have been quite a few reports about Google removing the domain name from search results in some Google searches. I performed one important search from my iPhone, and here’s what I currently see:

IMG_6423

I did some research about this major change, and I found more information in a detailed blog post on Google’s Webmaster Central blog. According to the blog post, Google is “updating the algorithms that display URLs in the search results to better reflect the names of websites, using the real-world name of the site instead of the domain name, and the URL structure of the sites in a breadcrumbs-like format.”

Based on what I’ve seen, it appears that I am not seeing the fully rolled out results, unless Google still prefers to refer to my website as www.domaininvesting.com. The second result for the “domain investing” search I performed is an article found on Forbes.com. As you can see from the above screenshot, Google is showing that result as “Forbes” rather than Forbes.com.

I understand why this might be helpful for well-known brands such as Forbes. Most people recognize the Forbes branding without needing to know it is Forbes.com. The same probably goes for Wikipedia, Google, Target, and countless other well known brands.

I have two issues that deal with trust that are caused by this change:

From a webmaster standpoint, I think it may be more difficult to compete with larger brands in search rankings. In the result I highlighted above, searches may be more inclined to trust an article in Forbes if they see the Forbes brand as opposed to the longer url that might add an element of confusion. Yes, they would likely know it is Forbes even without the change, but taking out the url likely makes large brands even more recognizable, and that could harm lesser known websites. Put simply, lesser known websites that have urls instead of brands may be harmed and won’t likely be helped.

From a user standpoint, I am concerned about safety when I visit a website. When reading emails, I am self-trained to see the underlying url before clicking any links to ensure they are not phishing or misleading me to a website I didn’t intend to visit. Taking out the url could potentially make it easier for people to maliciously mislabel a website. I trust that Google is going to do its best to protect users, but I would imagine there will be people looking to exploit this change ASAP.

I know I can make the decision about how my website looks in Google mobile by following some instructions given by Google. I tested it out this morning, but I am unsure what I will choose for the long term. I suppose it’s just another element I need to consider when it comes to optimizing websites for search.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (31)

    Andrea Paladini

    “From a user standpoint, I am concerned about safety when I visit a website. When reading emails, I am self-trained to see the underlying url before clicking any links to ensure they are not phishing or misleading me to a website I didn’t intend to visit. Taking out the url could potentially make it easier for people to maliciously mislabel a website.”
    Well said :), I totally agree.

    “I trust that Google is going to do its best to protect users”
    I wouldn’t be so sure, the main thing they care to protect are their own interests … wake up people! :)
    This is a clear (and arrogant) monopolistic situation which has to be broken-up …

    April 17th, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      John

      I told you “well said” over at DomainIncite and I’m telling you that here, too, Andrea!

      In reply to Andrea Paladini | April 17th, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    domain guy

    this is setting the stage for the .app 25 million dollar acquisition to take hold. This was we will see the website name in reference to .app.
    As I stated for the last 10 yrs google is the enemy they were caught and fined by the us gov for putting their site before others. It took a lot of investigating to uncover this salinet fact.
    I never use any google products, gmail, drop down menu, paid search, android,instagram.
    I hate google and go the other way in every instance. And others will eventually follow my lead.

    April 17th, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Adam

    They are ridiculous (but this is understandable, they are desperate). They want unique brands now that de facto “trademark Nice classes” have been introduced in domains with all the new gTLDS….

    The strike against parking platforms (go to change your nameservers please if you have not already done it) that is running now until the end of April has already produced some desperate move….

    Furthermore they will be sued thousands and thousands of time for this help they are giving to tricky people.

    April 17th, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    MIchael Castello

    In my opinion it is no secret that Google has been trying to diminish the URL and domain names for some time. It would prefer that we are part of their Google computer, whereas our websites and content are considered files. They want to be THE search function and cpu of that computer. The walls in their garden are getting much higher and there is no power at this point that can stop them. Perhaps the EU will get the ball rolling but I am not confident that any political or judicial remedy is available to us in short term.

    It is important that we start using more “open source” solutions and other search alternatives.

    I wrote about this over a year ago and I hope the larger community understands the implications: http://www.ccin.com/domain-industry-call-to-action/

    April 17th, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      Andrea Paladini

      Michael,
      Agree with you on all points, it’s time to boycott Google since they don’t understand they are NOT the owner of the Web …
      IMHO the best solution would be a break-up of the company, separating Search from Advertising, allowing fair competition in the latter and regulating how Search algorithms should work, in order not to favor some players at the expense of other …
      Google created a distorted interconnected system where search, online ads and data collection allow them to enjoy a virtual monopolistic position, and that lead to a strong cash generation, which is used to diversify their business (like a conglomerate) and influencing, lobbying governments and rule-makers …
      It’s something similar to the situation in the Telecom business before the breakup of the Bell System in the 80s in the US … but on a larger scale …
      But many people are brainwashed by the marketing tactics of these type of companies and don’t understand (or pretend not to, because of their vested interests) the very negative implications of this situations …

      In reply to MIchael Castello | April 17th, 2015 at 7:58 pm

      John

      I don’t know you, but I sure am loving your way. We need more like you speaking out, that’s for sure! See what I just wrote below in reply to your “boycott” as well.

      In reply to Andrea Paladini | April 17th, 2015 at 8:22 pm

      MIchael Castello

      I believe it is closer to the industrial revolution and those that helped make America great. The mini series, THE MEN WHO BUILT AMERICA, on the History.com channel, is a great insight into what is happening now with mega corps like Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and Google. You can see the parallels.

      http://www.history.com/shows/men-who-built-america/videos

      The episode where Theodore Roosevelt broke up those monopolies is inspirational and shows how it allowed other entrepreneurs, that were struggling under the heavy hand of monopolies, to be set free to further create invention and wealth like Henry Ford and the Model T.

      http://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/theodore-roosevelt/videos/theodore-roosevelt-vs-big-industry?m=5189719baf036&s=All&f=1&free=false

      In reply to Andrea Paladini | April 17th, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      John

      How dare he say “History.com”!? How dare he not just say “History” and let us get their however we get there…if we get there!?

      In reply to MIchael Castello | April 17th, 2015 at 8:28 pm

      John

      And nice post! :)

      In reply to MIchael Castello | April 17th, 2015 at 8:28 pm

      Andrea Paladini

      Agree with you Michael, actually it’s definitely closer to the Roosevelt vs trusts situation.
      I found two interesting citations (http://www.ushistory.org/us/43b.asp) about Roosevelt period which I deem very actual and similar to what is happening these days:
      “He believed Wall Street financiers and powerful trust titans to be acting foolishly. While they were eating off fancy china on mahogany tables in marble dining rooms, the masses were roughing it. There seemed to be no limit to greed. If docking wages would increase profits, it was done. If higher railroad rates put more gold in their coffers, it was done. How much was enough, Roosevelt wondered?”
      and
      “Although he himself was a man of means, he criticized the wealthy class of Americans on two counts. First, continued exploitation of the public could result in a violent uprising that could destroy the whole system. Second, the captains of industry were arrogant enough to believe themselves superior to the elected government.”
      IMHO we are in a very similar situation these days … unfortunately we don’t have a Roosevelt in the US right now, but people like Obama, the Clinton’s, etc, who are friends of banksters, big “captains of industry”, etc …
      It’s our “time to attack” modern monopolies and trusts, as Roosevelt said (and did) …

      In reply to MIchael Castello | April 18th, 2015 at 7:55 am

      Andrea Paladini

      we need a new TRUST BUSTER …
      Monopolies and trusts look out, your time is coming … lobbying governments and lawmakers, paying to get ad personam laws won’t save you from people …

      In reply to Andrea Paladini | April 18th, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Kevin

    Will be interesting to see how this plays out. I don’t see any benefit for us. :(

    April 17th, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Chad W

    Spot on Michael

    April 17th, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    John

    >”it’s time to boycott Google”

    Long ago I decide to not use Chrome, I never do, and probably never will.

    I also refuse to use Google Analytics and was even appalled when a certain entity was pushing it recently.

    I still use the search engine, however, simply because it is in my interest to do so, but I hate the idea that having it as the default in FF may give them some ability to track me.

    April 17th, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    John

    If I never had a single domain in my life I would still be appalled and disgusted by this. It totally transcends any interest any of us has ever had in anything to even do with domains.

    April 17th, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    John

    And as I’ve written elsewhere, let me reemphasize that’s it’s important to me to NOT know where I am going when I get in a car, or who I am dialing whenever I pick up the phone. Can’t imagine how any person in their right mind would ever even want to know such a thing! Get the picture?

    April 17th, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    MIchael Castello

    You are correct John.

    April 17th, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    999names.com

    Google is getting ready for the blitz of their gtlds?

    .HOW .APP .ETC ON AND ON

    April 17th, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    Jonathan

    The update has nothing to do with domain registrants. You can still search specifics. Build your brand, stop whining & all peeing in the same corner.

    April 18th, 2015 at 3:04 am

      I love the war if it is for Freedom

      Exactly, it has to do with Freedom. The war for me started July 7, 2000, when I realized they “killed” Altavista in just 6 months. Every smart person of course could understand who there were behind them and where they would be arrived one day. That day is here and it’s only a starting point.

      Now the war for Freedom is really started. They are plenty of money and power and they can corrupt everyone as they have done always. This is the reason for which everybody have to fight in person.

      I do not use google, almost never, and of course I don’t use any of their trap services.

      In reply to Jonathan | April 18th, 2015 at 4:00 am

    I love the war if it is for Freedom

    “The update has nothing to do with domain registrants”

    Exactly, it has to do with Freedom. The war for me started July 7, 2000, when I realized they “killed” Altavista in just 6 months. Every smart person of course could understand who there were behind them and where they would be arrived one day. That day is here and it’s only a starting point.

    Now the war for Freedom is really started. They are plenty of money and power and they can corrupt everyone as they have done always. This is the reason for which everybody have to fight in person.

    I do not use google, almost never, and of course I don’t use any of their trap services.

    April 18th, 2015 at 3:59 am

    Alan

    I personally am glad this is coming and it’s no secret this has been coming as Google has said many times” its about brands”
    Its about time this has arrived as I am tired of my websites getting beaten by long tailed domains with crappy content that rank high just because of their keyword urls.
    Good riddance to EMD’S, long live the Brands and brandables

    April 18th, 2015 at 8:47 am

      Elliot Silver

      Please share a couple of examples of this happening to you post Panda and post Penguin.

      Also, there are plenty of brands that use EMDs like Hotels, Cars, Apartments, Windows, Outlook, Apple, Amazon…. And thousands more.

      April 18th, 2015 at 9:14 am

    RaTHeaD

    but but but… “don’t be evil”

    April 18th, 2015 at 11:12 am

    todd

    You should re-title this “the downfall of the domain industry” because that’s exactly what it is. Shit domainers who tried to game the system for years got us in this spot with their garbage websites on long tail hyphenated domains.

    Google finally got fed up with the BS and now the whole industry is going to pay for it.

    April 18th, 2015 at 11:15 am

      Elliot Silver

      “Shit domainers who tried to game the system for years got us in this spot with their garbage websites on long tail hyphenated domains.”

      I think there were a lot more people/companies who did this than domainers.

      I don’t think that is what was the impetus for this change though. I think Google rolled out Panda and Penguin algorithms to combat that.

      In reply to todd | April 18th, 2015 at 11:25 am

    M. Menius

    I don’t like what Google is doing here either. My main question is if anyone has read any posted Google rationale yet.

    Is there any published explanation as to why they are replacing the url? I can’t see any supposed benefit to internet users.

    April 18th, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    m

    If you, as a domain investor, own one or two word “brandable” .com’s, this recent algo change by Google just increased (substantially) the value of your strongest domains (assuming you connect with the right buyer(s) someday). This is a good thing.

    April 18th, 2015 at 3:27 pm

      todd

      Not true. If the extension doesn’t show in search then the extension doesn’t matter which means you can have the greatest brandable on the worst extension and still rank number one because the extension isn’t even seen.

      If they implement this across the board then it makes domains absolutely irrelevant except as just a pure brand name.

      In reply to m | April 18th, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    MIchael Castello

    We are no more than canaries in a coalmine. We can only see the residual effects of what is happening in America. We don’t have the power to finesse the details but we elect officials that have taken an oath to find out. That is not happening in my opinion.

    Study what is happening and find out to what means was used to get there. Once an entity amasses exorbitant power, they can unfairly influence the public and the political process. They become bigger than government. One can just not blame this on conspiracy minded people.

    The floor at some point is going to fall out from under us if we don’t get the support that our constitution and bill of rights provides us. It is just a piece of paper. How it’s provisions are empowered is what makes it effective.

    April 18th, 2015 at 4:44 pm

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