Google’s experiment to hide parts of a site’s URL in the Chrome address bar (the Omnibox) has failed and has been removed from the browser earlier this week.
It consisted of a series of options that Google added to the chrome://flags options page that, when enabled, only showed the main domain name of a site (therecord.media) instead of the full page URL (therecord.media/category/article/title).
At the time, Google said that the reason for running the experiment was that showing full URLs makes it harder for non-technical users to distinguish between legitimate and malicious (phishing) sites, many of which use complicated and long URLs in attempts to confuse users.
Showing only the domain name was considered a good way to remove the extra chaff from a complex URL and only leave the core domain visible in the URL bar.
However, despite its good intentions, the experiment never sat well, with both security experts and end-users alike, who often complained about it when Google silently enabled it on some browsers to gather usage statistics.