Google announced it is making some changes to how URLs are displayed in mobile search results. In fact, it won’t be displaying URLs at all anymore.
Instead, Google will display the “real world” name of the site in lieu of the domain name, while the URL structure will be displayed in a breadcrumbs-like format.
Here is a side-by-side example of the changes, with the old search results on the left, and new search results on the right:
Google explains that this change was made for the benefit of searchers:
“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…”
These changes are exclusive to mobile search results, and are being rolled out gradually. The changes affecting site names will be seen in US search results only for now, while the breadcrumbs will be seen worldwide.
If you want to have more control over how your site name is displayed, rather than leaving it in Google’s hands, there is a new set of structured data markup to help you with that.
Using this new structured data markup you can signal to Google’s algorithms how you want your website name to be displayed, and you can also let the algorithms know how you want the structure of your site to be displayed as breadcrumbs.