Daily Poll: Does Google’s Desire to “Kill the URL” Concern You?

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Wired published an article yesterday entitled, “Google Wants to Kill the URL.” As the title would indicate, Google is looking at ways to change URLs. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“People have a really hard time understanding URLs,” says Adrienne Porter Felt, Chrome’s engineering manager. “They’re hard to read, it’s hard to know which part of them is supposed to be trusted, and in general I don’t think URLs are working as a good way to convey site identity. So we want to move toward a place where web identity is understandable by everyone—they know who they’re talking to when they’re using a website and they can reason about whether they can trust them. But this will mean big changes in how and when Chrome displays URLs. We want to challenge how URLs should be displayed and question it as we’re figuring out the right way to convey identity.”

Of course, a change to the URL could very well impact domain names. This could be bad or it could be good. From my vantage point, if they do something drastic to the right of the extension, it could more focus on the domain name and perhaps increase its importance. On the other hand, there is also a chance it could negatively impact domain names, and consequently the value of domain names.

I am curious if readers are concerned about Google’s desire to “kill the URL.” Please vote in the poll below, but also share your thoughts in the comment section.


16 COMMENTS

  1. Extremely concerning because it is part of a bigger plan. The majors FB, Google etc, don’t want a complex “long tail” Internet. They don’t want the Internet to be that open wide place where everyone can get lost in the information and on the websites he or she choses. Instead they want an Internet of few large ecosystems run by major corporations. The attempt to get rid of the URL is a step to that direction. They can’t wipe out the long tai obviously but they can make sure that you become “invisible”. They can come after your traffic. “Shadow banning” is a similar approach.

  2. So, assuming then that Adrienne Porter Felt is speaking on behalf of Google, I’d suggest that she presents the following idea to the founders:

    Hold a charity auction (where all proceeds go to the hungry/homeless in The Valley) to liquidate their primary domain names — Google.com and YouTube.com .

    I’m sure that Larry Page and their BOD will be fine with that.

  3. 1. Google, et al, is the biggest enemy of domain names.

    2. Google has done a great job dumbing down the US and no doubt other parts of the world regarding domain names and people’s ability to know and understand (hardly) anything about them. Doubtless people knew and understood far more in the 90’s than now. “People have a really hard time understanding URLs”; yes, thanks to Google and that’s what they wanted and worked to bring about.

    3. Domainers are largely myopic and don’t see the big picture, or don’t want to.

    4. The big picture is about more than just money and profits, but power and control, in bed with governments. And the even bigger picture beyond that can’t even be seen by the human eye.

    5. Watch the video for this if you can, important stuff and well worth it: “How did Google get so big?” – https://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-did-google-get-so-big/.

    6. If you are happy and fat and take the attitude that you don’t really care because of how happy and fat you are, you are part of the problem.

  4. It could make domains more important than ever. Google doesn’t want people to know what site/domain they are on..well if its simple or short/easy to remember they can’t stop siteowners from using it in logos and footers, etc.

  5. Google is the Internet evil empire and should never be trusted. They have no good intentions for urls or domain names.
    They want everything to go through them, domains don’t and they don’t like that.
    You wouldn’t trust a stranger with your business, so why would you trust Google.

    Domain names are one of the last places online that you still have control over your content.
    Giving up that control, is like giving up your right to vote.

  6. I’ve also noticed recently that I end up with a google search page showing the website I want in the results when I scroll down to frequently visited sites on my browser bar and select it i.e. I don’t always go directly to the website. I can then get to the site but via their search results. Sinister? Or me being paranoid?
    This never happened before.

  7. Simply an attempt to make all internet real estate less valuable than Google.com, Facebook.com, Amazon.com, etc. All my businesses are built off exact match domain names, anticipating and planning for the day when no organic traffic arrives at the sites from these corporations.

    • I don’t totally agree with that.

      Don’t you ever find it annoying when you want to send someone a link to a product, listing, or something else, and the URL is massive?

    • While I support your action, you are being myopic as a “domainer” just as I said above. They couldn’t care less about the value of domains or “Internet real estate” including their own, except insofar as the real non-monetary value relates to the big picture of power, monopoly and control.

      • Agree somewhat, although Google doesn’t need a domain anymore because they own the browser and the operating system on your phone, tablet, etc. Intuitive and rememberable domain precludes most of Google control, therefore resting control of the end user experience upon the domain owner via the website or app, etc. Responsibility to find and communicate with end user via push or pull method is on domain owner. I think I read Google pays Apple to be on the iphone a while back so they get traffic from iPhone usere. It’s all control and digital real estate, regardless of domain. Domain allows for non Google ownership and control.

  8. As I read the article on Wired, I can’t help to wonder if the issue is the result in part because of spammers/scammers and part of the availability of new gTLDs. I’ve seen so many redirects on zero-click domain parking pages to URLs like apple.download-software.link/whatever-else.html trying to trick you into downloading their software and mimicking an apple page. With all the new available gTLD’s, spammers have an unlimited combination of domains and sub-domains to spoof popular sites. And the average person does not understand the URL because they do not understand the new gTLDs, never mind sub-domains.

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