Featured Domains

TrueName by donuts. Make a name for yourself

Putting the Google Chrome URL news into perspective

What impact could changes to Chrome have on domain names?

Yesterday I wrote about a WIRED story discussing the Google Chrome team’s efforts to change how it displays a site’s identity.

The reaction was pretty strong. Any threat to URLs seems like a threat to domain names.

But let’s take a step back and think more about this.

The idea is to make sure people visiting a website understand the identity of the website. Who runs it? Is it the site I intended to visit? Is it legit?

We can all agree that knowing these answers is a good thing. The question is how to convey this information, and how much of it can be conveyed in the “address bar” of a browser.

Keep in mind that there’s a difference between a URL and a domain name.

I think there’s a lot of value in seeing the entire URL string of a site I visit as it tells me a lot about the page, the section of the site, the content, and sometimes how recent the content is. I can also find other info on the site by changing the URL (e.g. removing the article name to visit a category). Importantly, I can see what sort of tracking information was appended to the URL. For example, did I just click on an affiliate link? If so, should I reconsider the suggestion the site made about buying the product?

But this might not be very valuable to other people.

It can also be difficult to show an entire long URL on a mobile browser. This might explain why Google downgraded the presence of URLs in mobile search three years ago. For example, these search results have the name of the site rather than the domain:

I don’t like this at all and think it’s a security issue. Yes, I know what CBS and The New York Times is, but I’d really like to see at least the second level domain name for “Austin Select Baseball” before visiting the site. Baseball is kind of innocuous, but what if this was a site about credit cards?

The popular @swiftonsecurity account on weighed in with these thoughts:

My takeaway is this:

1. The goals that Google says it’s trying to achieve are generally good.
2. Any deemphasis of the second level domain could hurt the importance of domain names. But the answer could be an added emphasis on this domain.
3. Google will be looking for feedback, so provide it to them.

DomainAgents. What should you sell your domain for? Read our Domain Market Report Now. Sponsored.

Get Our Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest analysis and news about the domain name industry by joining our mailing list.

No spam, unsubscribe anytime.

Reader Interactions


    Leave a Comment

  1. David T Michaels

    The best way for users to know whose website they are visiting is via an enhanced SSL showing the company name within the green bar before the url. Too many corporations commit tax fraud by having a holding co own their trademarks and domain names.

  2. John

    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.

  3. John

    Use DuckDuckGo.com, the results are better on everything except for “local” searches like looking for a plumber.

    Boycott Google. They are anti-American.

  4. Mark Thorpe

    I’ve got feedback for you, Google.
    Stop trying to make everything go in your favor.
    Stop forcing people and businesses to do what you want, instead of what they want to do.
    Stop changing your search algorithim to benefit your business.
    Stop being an Internet bully and let the Internet evolve on it own.

    Oh and stop trying to bury domain names.

  5. Jeff Schneider

    Hello Andrew,

    Googles Strategic Plans All along have been to fully control All (.COM Equimoditty Platform Asset Traffic) for their redirecting advantages, to cement their Monopolistic Traffic Cartel.
    The Strategy behind this propoganda piece is to wrestle control of the entire Domain Name Systems Traffic Source Pool and position Google with even more monopolistic control. Once Google Ad users figure out googles strategic plan to separate (.COM Equimoditty Platform Asset Owners of their .COM BRAND, there will be REVOLT. JAS 9/4/18
    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Intelligence Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master) http://www.UseBiz.com

  6. Jeff Schneider

    Hello Andrew,
    To put this in perspective, This is by far a Monopoly Overreach Strategy. They (Google) are drunk on power. They Google from day of inception have been manipulating Online Pools of Traffic for their own profit.
    On top of that their SEM Platform lacks Full Capacity Utilization Metrics. Googles glaring Anti-Competitive Stranglehold is standing in the way of Maximum Online Business expansion. This is a Strategic Reality. The Google Search Engine Marketing Model, is more a business Suppressor than a business Incubator. It is a Marketing Platform that crushes competition and enables Incumbent Platform Monopolies to dominate and thrive over their competitors. The SEM Model is a mass fraud that is holding down Online Business Expansion. The Economies who set free Online Business Expansion from the yoke of Search Engine Marketings Tyrannical Grasp, will be the Global Leaders of Sustained Economic Business Expansion. JAS 8/25/18

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Intelligence Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master) http://www.UseBiz.com

Domain Name Wire | Domain Name News
%d bloggers like this: