Google announced that they’ll change the way they represent URLs in search results. Specifically, search results will now display a website’s actual name instead of its URL and the URL structure of the URL as breadcrumbs!
Quoting Google: 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.
This change means that your site’s URL structure becomes even more important than it already was on the SEO and marketing world. Ugly URLs will be even more visible in the search results than before.
These changes are for mobile search results the changes are rolling out to mobile search gradually, and site name changes are currently US-only, while breadcrumbs are rolling out worldwide.
We all know that smartphone penetration growing, Google says smartphones penetration continue growing every year and searching on a small screen too, so the part of the result that shows you a page URL isn’t always very helpful on smartphones. Anything but the top-level domain will probably be truncated. Especially within familiar sites, the mixture of the page title and shortened URL may leave you unclear what part of the website you will navigate to once you click. Google is making a subtle change to clear things up.
These changes mean that whatever you choose as your brand name is reflected more in the search results, and you have to think really hard about what you want that to be. Whether this change positively or negatively impacts keyword-rich domain names remains to be seen.
Never have been more important to do On-page SEO than now!