Some users report a change in the latest version of Google Chrome.
Back in the old days, web browsers had just an address bar. Type in a domain name and hit enter. Type in part of a domain and the browser automatically added .com to it.
That changed with the combined web address/search box. This impacted type-in traffic to websites but it was certainly user-friendly. It makes navigating the web much easier.
Ghacks has spotted behavior in the latest build of Google Chrome that could downplay domain names and previously visited sites even more.
The site has discovered that Google is promoting search over recently visited sites. Start typing the domain of a site you visited and it defaults to a search query rather than autocompleting the domain and letting you hit enter to visit it.
I have not been able to replicate this behavior even though I am using the same version of Chrome. I have tried it both logged in and logged out.
Ghacks shows a fix, and it leads me to believe that people experiencing this are facing a bug rather than a feature. While it makes since from a user standpoint to combine the address bar and search box, making it harder for visitors to access recently-visited websites does not. As much as Google would like more search traffic, I don’t think it would take this step.
I don’t think everything Google does that downplays domains is user-friendly. I have major concerns about not showing the full URL in the browser or replacing it with a site name in search results. That’s is a security issue.
But I don’t think Chrome would purposefully put search results above sites you want to visit again.