Latest news of the domain name industry

Recent Posts

Google eliminating domains from search results

Kevin Murphy, April 17, 2015, 14:30:17 (UTC), Domain Tech

Google has made another move to make domain names less relevant to internet users.

The company will no longer display URLs in search results pages for any web site that adopts a certain technical standard.

Instead, the name of the web site will be given. So instead of a DI post showing up with “domainincite.com” in results, it would be “Domain Incite”.

Google explained the change in a blog post incorrectly titled “Better presentation of URLs in search results”.

Webmasters wishing to present a company name or brand instead of a domain name need to publish metadata on their home pages. It’s just a few lines of code.

Google will make a determination whether to make the change based on whether the name meets these criteria:

Be reasonbly [sic] similar to your domain name

Be a natural name used to refer to the site, such as “Google,” rather than “Google, Inc.”

Be unique to your site—not used by some other site

Not be a misleading description of your site

Code samples and the rules are published here.

It strikes me that Google, by demanding naming uniqueness, is opening itself up for a world of hurt.

Could there be a landrush among non-unique brands? How will disputes be handled?

Right now the change has been made only to mobile search results and only in the US, but Google hinted that it could roll out elsewhere too.

Tagged: ,

Comments (12)

  1. Owen frager says:

    So if it just says frager how will you know .com from .us .media etc

  2. John Andrews says:

    how will it know .us from .com?

    Users won’t…all attention driven to the brand, not the domain.

    Google can try to partner with, do business with, threaten, and extort brand owners because of brand asset value, but it hasn’t such access to non brand “domains”. It doesn’t have as much (enough?) influence over those who publish on them.

    Partly because threw s to brands are bigger than what Google controls, while threats to non brands are limited to what Google actually controls (traffic).

    This is latest move of less rational modern Google, but has been on the agenda of Google for many many years. Will it work now? Does it have to?

  3. Eric Lyon says:

    Very interesting. Not sure it really matters if the extension itself is seen in search since a click on what one needs will reveal it in the address bar. However, it does pose an instant set-back to those with new gTLD’s that were hoping to get that initial exposure.

    It also lends a hand to slowing down the new gTLD awareness. The less we educate about the new gTLD’s the longer it will take to make them a standard for businesses to use confidently.

  4. Dan Rodgers says:

    This is a terrible idea.

    We (as geeks/internet people) often seem to spend our time telling people to be careful, check what they click, make sure it’s the site they think it is.

    This, takes away from that and just encourages people to click without checking…

    Also, I wonder if they’d apply this to their own TLDs when trying to get better awareness for them?…

  5. This is what happen when a market is not properly regulated (or not regulated at all) and monopolists like Google feels authorized to do what they want … too power in the hands of a single big company generate only abuses … it happened before in history (just think to AT&T in the 80s for ex.) and it will occur again if proper regulatory measures are introduced to protect consumers …
    It’s time for a break-up of Google, introducing real competition in the online advertising business and in the search business, where they abusively favor their own interests manipulating algorithms …

    Furthermore, as Dan Rogers said above, it’s a bad idea also security-wise …

    • “if proper regulatory measures are not introduced to protect consumers …”, typo, sorry 🙂

    • John says:

      Well said, Andrea, and so long overdue.

      And yes, i really want my friends and relatives going to potentially harmful sites like BadExample.whatever because they can’t even see the address they would be going to.

      You get to know what phone number you are dialing and what address you are going to when you travel, but apparently Google thinks people don’t need to know things like that now. Is it just me or is that ridiculous from any reasonable point of view you can imagine?

  6. Adam says:

    They are ridiculous (but this is understandable, they are desperate). They want unique brands now that de facto “trademark Nice classes” have been introduced in domains with all the new gTLDS….

    The strike against parking platforms (go to change your nameservers please if you hve not already done it) that is running now until the end of April has already produced some desperate move….

    Furthermore they will be sued thousands and thousands of time for this help they are giving to tricky people.

  7. John says:

    Yes, i really want my friends and relatives going to potentially harmful sites like BadExample.whatever because they can’t even see the address they would be going to.

    You get to know what phone number you are dialing and what address you are going to when you travel, but apparently Google thinks people don’t need to know things like that now. Is it just me or is that ridiculous from any reasonable point of view you can imagine?

  8. John says:

    Oops:

    >”Furthermore, more than half of all respondents indicated they always paid attention to domain names in their search results.”

    DNJournal.com, dnjournal (dot) com/archive/lowdown/2015/dailyposts/20150416.htm

  9. John says:

    And I sure want to know where I’m going online.

    Disgusted, absolutely disgusted.

    It’s not for nothing I never use Chrome and probably never will.

  10. Zac Zarev says:

    This should be an urgent matter for the ICA.

Add Your Comment