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Google Chrome 69 & SEO Annoyances


As you know, Google announced version 69 of Chrome last week. The Omnibox now shows answers as you type, HTTPS sites are no longer green and Google also hides a lot of the URL in the URL bar. I covered some of this at Search Engine Land last week but more and more of the SEO community is getting bugged out by the URL change.

Hiding URLs in Chrome

So when you go to a site, Google Chrome 69 will crop off the URL to remove not just the http or https part, but also the www or non-www part. Here is a screen shot of this site:

This doesn\’t directly or even indirectly impact your rankings in Google search. But SEOs who want to quickly look at the canonical URL of a page need to now click in the search bar to see if the URL is HTTPs vs HTTP and if it is WWW vs non-WWW.

Here are some of the complaints with John Mueller responding:

It’s visual only ….and actually from a user point of view often it would make sense – just not from a security/SEO point of view …

— Gerry White ⁉️ SEO geek (@dergal) September 7, 2018

What sorts of issues? (I don\’t make these decisions, just curious about your takes) It seems to me that if someone is savvy enough to understand that there\’s something to watch out for, they\’ll watch out for it.

— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) September 7, 2018

I dunno … even with webmasters, most of them see www & non-www as the same thing, they always give me a questioning-look when I tell them to verify both in Search Console. There are exceptions, sure, but how often do you manually have to enter \”www\” to reach a site?

— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) September 7, 2018

Also, on mobile (where most people are nowadays), you almost have to put the screen into landscape mode to see the full URL of most pages. Who has time for that & why would we ever expect people to care about it?

— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) September 7, 2018

I share your annoyance when it comes to embedded browsers / web-apps that make accessing a URL a hassle when you want to share / bookmark something (annoyance … more like hate it), but as long as I can get to it easily when I want it, that\’s enough for me :-).

— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) September 7, 2018

I don\’t mind hiding them (I don\’t need to see them regularly), as long as I can get to them when I want them :-). Also, yes, we do pass feedback on to other teams at Google, and I\’m sure Chrome gets a lot of passionate feedback from all sides on bigger changes like this. 🔥🔥

— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) September 7, 2018

So that is one thing.

Omnibox answers

The other thing is now by default you get answers as you type in the Omnibox (URL nox) in Chrome 69. I personally do not get them because I changed my default search service in Chrome to not get them but by default you will get it. Search for weather, sports scores, core facts, etc.

Google does not show featured snippets here, yet – so there is really no lose here, I think. Factual searches normally don\’t drive too much traffic to sites where Google just shows the answer at the top anyway.

Here is my hack:

found my issue, I changed the default search engine to Google but made sure the URL was clean cause I am OCD. So no URL params after https://t.co/y7KYYJAgm3 – it removed the omnibox from working cc @JohnMu@googlechromepic.twitter.com/HcTwBsDNXG

— Barry Schwartz (@rustybrick) September 5, 2018

HTTPS no longer green

So now if you go to an HTTPS URL, Chrome won\’t label the page as green in the URL bar. It will just have a gray lock. And in the next version of Chrome, it won\’t even be labeled as secure. Only non HTTPS URLs will be labeled as not secure:

Forum discussion at Twitter.

This content was originally published here.

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