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Google: How Chrome Displays URL or Identity To Change

     
4:06 pm on Sep 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google Chrome 69 has rolled out [webmasterworld.com], and there are many changes going on.
In addition, Google's engineers have indicated there's going to be "changes to how Chrome displays identity in the coming year."

[mobile.twitter.com...]

As noted in the Chrome 69 launch thread by robzilla [webmasterworld.com], Wired has taken the meaning a step further in those URL changes by suggesting Google Wants to Kill the URL [wired.com].

Google was quick to defend itself on social media suggesting it's a request for collaboration with academics involved in the sector.

Is this yet another Google move to lock people into its ecosystem by changing something which really doesn't need changing in the way suggested? Sure, if it was proposed and changed as a W3C standard, it might have more acceptance and less cynicism.
7:20 pm on Sept 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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While the article includes the term "kill" which may seem derogatory at first glance, it seems to me much of what is being said actually explains the many justifications Google likely considered when making these latest changes to how URLs are being displayed in it's anniversary update to the browser.
12:54 am on Sept 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I heard on a podcast that someone was seeing Google Chrome removing the 'www' from the URL on their site. However when I went there with the latest version of Chrome I didn't see that. Is this in some development build or is it being applied sparingly?

This could have a huge impact on the marketing people who spend tons of money to promote a specific subdomain. I don't see this causing anything but confusion among the general populace.
7:13 am on Sept 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I heard on a podcast that someone was seeing Google Chrome removing the 'www' from the URL on their site. However when I went there with the latest version of Chrome I didn't see that. Is this in some development build or is it being applied sparingly?

Chrome 69 only removes the www subdomain, presumably because it's common enough to be superfluous (and example.com tends to redirect to www.example.com, or vice versa). The actual URL isn't changed, it's only the "visible URL" that's abbreviated until you click on it twice in the omnibox. So this thread's URL is shortened to "webmasterworld.com/google_chrome/4918702.htm", because that's really all you need (the full URL will still be sent to the clipboard if you copy it).

None of that actually changes anything about URLs being difficult and user-unfriendly, of course. What's described in the Wired article concerns Google's ongoing efforts -- as well as those of academics and other parties -- to find an alternative to the URL, which is... difficult, to say the least. In the meantime, removing any unnecessary parts could make URLs a little friendlier; when sharing a URL, it certainly helps to be able to skip the most difficult "https://www." part.
7:19 am on Sept 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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This could have a huge impact on the marketing people who spend tons of money to promote a specific subdomain. I don't see this causing anything but confusion among the general populace.

Oh, good point. I'll need to check into that for subdomains - anyone here have an example of that working all ok?
8:03 am on Sept 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Actually, the address bar appears to be back to pre-69 for me on large (desktop) screens.

Mobile 69 still looks as it always did.
6:39 pm on Sept 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Yeah looks like they backtracked on that. And version 69.0.3497.92 was released on September 11 to fix two security bugs, one of which was:
[$TBD][880759] Medium (CVE to be assigned): URL Spoofing in Omnibox. Reported by evi1m0 of Bilibili Security Team on 2018-09-05

Apparently there was some backlash as well. The option's still there, though, under chrome://flags/#omnibox-ui-hide-steady-state-url-scheme-and-subdomains.
 

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