Google: trimming URL to domain in Chrome is an unsuccessful experiment

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Google says the idea of ​​hiding URL portions and query parameters in the Chrome address bar was a bad idea. The company removed the code for this feature from the Chrome code base. As you maybe remember, last year, Google experimented with the URL format displayed in Chrome, with the result that only part of the domain was visible, and the full URL was only visible after clicking on the address bar.

This feature didn't leave the scope of the experiment and was available to a small group of users. Analysis of the tests showed that the practice of hiding URL path elements does not improve user safety. In fact, users were very confused by this, so their feedback was mostly negative.

Check out: Always Show Full URL Address in Google Chrome

Attackers exploit the carelessness of users to imitate the appearance of a real website and commit fraudulent activities. By leaving only the main domain visible, Chrome would not allow users to be misled by manipulating URL parameters.

Google has been promoting ideas for changing the display of the URL in the address bar since 2018. As as reason, the Search giant was citing by the fact that it is difficult for ordinary users to understand the URL, it is difficult to read it, and it is not immediately clear from it which parts of the address are trustworthy. Starting with Chrome 76, the address bar was changed by default to show links without "https://", "http://" and "www." Later the devs were about to trim the rest of the URL, but after a year of experimentation they gave up this intention.

👉It is worth mentioning that during the initial discussion of this initiative, some users suggested that getting rid of the full URL was beneficial for promoting Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) technology. In that case, it would have been harder for the user to tell if he was browsing a website directly, or it was a CDN version of the web page processed by Google.

If you were affected by this experiment, you don't need to do anything to restore the full URL the Chrome address bar. As Google terminates its research, the browser will restore the hidden URL parameters automatically.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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