On Google Search results and URLs

I was looking for a song through Google Search, and noticed the results page shows the URLs too.

Google now displays the URL of a result in green text.

Google now displays the URL of a result in green text.

Now, I don’t know about you, but to me the notion of URLs is not that relevant to show it on the visible page. The internet turns around content. Besides, ¬†browsers show the URL you’re going to in the status bar (when you’re hovering above the link).

The status bar of a browser.

The status bar of a browser.

Now, since the advent of URL shorteners like tinyurl and bit.ly, it might be useful to know where that link points to. Twitter.com solves this problem by showing a tooltip with the resolved address when you hover above a shortened URL. And the bit.ly plug-in shows you even the statistics of their links.

URL expansion on twitter.com

URL expansion on twitter.com

Just to say it’s 2011 and Google added some extra clutter to solve a problem I’ve been trained to solve for years now (looking at the status bar when I click on something).

(The only use-case I see for this is the mobile space: smartphones don’t have hover-finger-detection. Yet.)

(And extra fast scanning/filtering of search results, but website builders should properly use the title tags.)