Google backs up and Chrome shows full web addresses again

Google has been looking for years to simplify the use of web addresses to, in theory, make it easier for users to identify trusted domains to gain security when navigating between websites. At first, they tried to remove web addresses to put search terms in the address field instead.

Due to the impracticality of it, they discarded the idea and later opted to hide all parts of the web addresses, simply showing the domain itself. Adrienne Porter Felt, Senior Head of Chrome, pointed out to Wired in 2018 that web addresses “are difficult to read, it is difficult to know which part of them is supposed to be trustworthy and, in general, I do not think that URLs work as a good way to convey the identity of the site”

However, this idea He did not like it either, receiving criticism for it, although despite the criticism, Google decided to move forward as if nothing had happened..

The intention was good, but the mechanisms have not been adequate

Since Hacker News and other specialized media even pointed out that the elimination of www. and from m. of web addresses could result in two different sites appearing identical, potentially presenting cases of phishing attacks, among other problems.

Now, this decision to simplify URLs in Chrome becomes an experiment from which they reverse, as reflected in a document accessed by Android Police.

For Emily Stark, a software engineer behind the development of Chrome, has pointed out on the Chromium bug tracking platform that: «This experiment did not move relevant security metrics, so we are not launching it«.

Currently, except for https: //, the rest of the chain of domains are shown in full. This change has occurred with the release of the current version of Chrome, Chrome 91, officially reaching all users last May.

Sometimes, despite good intentions, things do not go as expected, and at this point it is better to return to the starting point learned a series of lessons along the way, which we can assume that they will take into account when trying to look for a different way to simplify web addresses, if they try again later.

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Lenny Li

I started to play with tech since middle school. Smart phones, laptops and gadgets are all about my life. Besides, I am also a big fan of Star War. May the force be with you!

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