The address bar and search box have become one.
It’s no secret that Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) would prefer internet users to visit Google rather than use direct navigation. The company’s Google Chrome web browser is making that possible by blurring the lines between web addresses and search boxes.
Most web browsers now have a standard address bar as well as a search box (usually providing results from MSN or Google). Type an address in the address box or a search term in the search box.
Google Chrome, on the other hand, has only one box. In fact, the number one point it highlights on the Chrome web site is:
One box for everything
Type in the address bar and get suggestions for both search and web pages.
It certainly sounds like this will curtail generic type-in traffic. As someone types in a domain like Baseball.com, they may be presented with other baseball web sites.
The good news is that Google Chrome is only being used by early adopters right now and will be for the foreseeable future. Consider that Microsoft still owns 75% of the browser market. 25% of internet users are still on IE6, not IE7. Direct navigation’s sweet spot isn’t with early adopters.
However, Google has a way of penetrating the market quickly. This is just another example of the danger of competing with the hand that feeds you.