Google Hiding URIs for Certain Search Results

Google is now unfortunately hiding the URIs for certain search results far more often than they ever have done in the past… and it’s quite annoying. The Google search site is the pinnacle of function over form: it is sparse, plain, simple, and yet contains tons of information. But it seems that they’re taking it a bit too far now, hiding valuable data making the results pretty useless. Marissa Mayer, where art thou?

As an example, search Google for “libmhash” right now. The first result is the result you want, but you’d never know it from looking at the search result:

Personally, I clicked on the second result. In this case, it too led to the correct page, but the actual, valid result is the first. But where the URI should be in the search result, it instead says “ > Projects” which honestly leads one to think it points to a list of projects on SourceForge rather than the libmhash project. Google needs to either add the complete bread-crumb trail “ > Projects > libmhash” or else keep the full URI visible because it currently stands, the results are confusing and misleading.

22 thoughts on “Google Hiding URIs for Certain Search Results

  1. You serious? All you have to do is hover over the link to see the URL and it pops up in the lower left. Is that really so hard to do?

  2. Certainly. That’s what I’m doing… But the entire process of searching on Google is extremely streamlined, and designed from the bottom-up to avoid such BS requirements. You shouldn’t have to hover over each and every link in turn to find out where it points!

    Fredrick Taylor and Frank Gilbreth are probably turning in their graves as we speak!

  3. Actually, things like the arrows are likely what we are going to start seeing more and more of with cloud computing. People don’t care to understand dots and dashes, and the majority don’t pay attention to URLs at all except for the domain name itself. That stuff will become invisible pretty soon, but as long as it makes itself obvious somewhere in the browser, I’m okay with that.

  4. I’m with Ferret on this one.
    It should always be identifiable clearly somewhere BEFORE one pulls the trigger and embarks onto the link.
    But it does not necessarily have to be a part of the actual text. The “hover” method or any EASY one are perfectly acceptable.
    Hiding the link, or tucking it away from sight would not be acceptable, of course.

    Is this a good ground for agreement on transparency in linking to URLs?…

  5. I’m not against not showing the URI.

    But the way Google is *currently* doing it, it’s unacceptable. As I said, showing the entire breadcrumb trail including the current page is acceptable.

    Instead of “ > Projects” and with a most-spammy description of the page visible, “ > Projects > libmhash” would be far more acceptable.

  6. “All you have to do is hover over the link to see the URL and it pops up in the lower left”
    Yeah, real easy if you end up having to do that with a buttload of results…
    In the example here, it’s just the first result but I’ve had searches where I ended up plowing through more than nine pages of results with such results before getting to the result I was actually looking for, and I’m a pretty specific person when it comes to my searches.

  7. I think short, and precise descriptions in the meta descriptions tag is key, especially if less space is given to the search functionality in google. A number of SEO softwares and programs now give advice on this subject highlighting a maximium number of words and defining the perfect SEO structure for a description.

  8. I’m with Ferret on this one. He’s right, it ain’t that hard to do, and it’s a darn smart habit to have whenever surfing…anywhere! This will make you more aware of possible hijacks.

    Please note: I’m not accusing Google of anything – but lots of sites misrepresent the site to which you’ll be redirected. I keep my eye on the status line when I prepare to click *any* link on ANY site.

    Surf Safely!


  9. It was pretty obvious to me that the first result would lead to the libmhash project page on sourceforge.

  10. I cant see the point in Google doing this, I have to agree it is irritating but Google does do things that not every one agrees with, there might be a motive to it thou??? Im not sure.

  11. I dont see why people are concerned about this, its not an issue really is it, when you click through on the link it still goes to the same page, as Michael said there probaly is some kind of motive behind it but I wouldnt know why?

  12. Hello,

    i think the new Snippets are much more easier to read for People, who don’t have anything to do with the Internet. And that group of People are the most people in the internet, i think.

    I think its a great feature and a further step to a even more easier search engine. Don’t you think?

  13. As a tech., the URL info etc are extremely valuable and speed up my searches significantly. Especially if I am looking for specific information from specific manufacturers or publishers; I can find the search results for their web site and not some amazon or ebay store selling those products.

    I switched from Yahoo to Google many years ago because the searching was better and faster for what I do.

    Google should have a setting (or create one) so technicians and engineers can get the search results in a form that best meets their needs.

  14. Interestingly now ranks first.

    I agree that the breadcrumbs ought to include the final element (e.g. “ > Projects > Libmhash”).

    You might be able to manipulate the breadcrumbs format slightly with a bit of creative coding. After all, surely this would be in the interests of the user, and what’s more important than that?

    This is how Google’s breadcrumbs format works:

  15. Google should have a setting (or create one) so technicians and engineers can get the search results in a form that best meets their needs.

  16. This old blog post (reading for first time)

    Google has been hiding more and more urls for many years. I find it has gotten to a point where google is rubbish. But what do we do now, since google has thwarted the competition we are stuck with nothing.

    Then i think look how google has become the world dominator for internet. Damn it getting more like an internet gateway, hate for it ever be so.

    TBH there is no other search engine that is like google, it has far better technology (spider, bots et-all) than the rest.

    So we now are stuck we let google rule, we now can find F**K ALL

    Google has become S*ITE is SH*TE searching with Google sucks

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