Google will no longer display web addresses in mobile search results, instead showing the constituent parts of the URL broken apart into a “breadcrumbs” format.

A URL like the one for the Wikipedia page for the Guardian,, will be reformatted and displayed to emphasise the internal structure of the site, in this case “Wikipedia > wiki > The_Guardian”.

In a blog post, Google explained its reasoning to webmasters. “Well-structured URLs offer users a quick hint about the page topic and how the page fits within the website.

“To help mobile searchers understand your website better when we show it in the mobile search results, today we’re updating the algorithms that display URLs in the search results to better reflect the names of websites, using the real-world name of the site instead of the domain name, and the URL structure of the sites in a breadcrumbs-like format.”

The change comes a year after Google experimented with hiding the bulk of the URL entirely from users of its Chrome web browser. In May, beta versions of Chrome were released to testers which displayed only the domain name of any web address, hiding the rest of the string.

The rationale was to make phishing attacks more obvious for the end user: the difference between and is easy to overlook. “In my experience, most users don’t understand which parts of the URL are the security signals,” explained Jake Archibald, a developer advocate for the company. “Browsers have started to make those parts of the URL bolder, but as you can see … that isn’t enough.”

Archibald argued that the move, which was later rescinded, wasn’t a harbinger of the death of URLs. “To the average user, the URL is noise. It’s a mix of protocol, origin, and path. It’s a terminal command, echoing it back to the user is weak UI. We should focus on the security of the URL, without harming shareability.”

The changes to Google search results will initially only show on mobile, but could be rolled out across desktops too.