Google has started an experiment to hide long URLs in its recently updated Chrome’s Canary browser.
As part of an experiment, the Google browser will only show the name of the website and domain instead of showing the entire URL which is known as web addresses.
Google claims that the changes are under experiment to see whether it can tackle phishing attacks as phishing URLs are often similar to original sites confusing web users to fall into trap.
Google Chrome developer Jake Archibald said in a post that 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."
"I recently received an email from my domain name registrar telling me spritecow.com was soon to expire.
"I followed the link, entered my username and was about to enter my password. I glanced up at the URL, it was HTTPS, great, had the registrar’s URL in it, fine. Then I looked closer and realised it wasn’t the registrar’s URL at all. I was very nearly phished."
Google Chrome front-end developer Paul Irish has however disliked the feature saying that its future is shaky despite its anti-phishing feature.
"We’re looking at a few key metrics to see if this change is a net positive for Chrome users. I imagine it may help defend against phishing," Irish added in a post.
"My personal opinion is that it’s a very bad change and runs antithetical to Chrome’s goals. I hope the data backs that up as well."
Jake Archibald later clarified, "I want to point out that this is an experiment. It’s behind a flag in Canary, that’s as experimental-yet-public as it gets. It’s by no means the final design, and existing in Canary behind a flag does not mean it’s certain to appear in stable releases."
Similar features have already been incorporated in mobile version of Safari browser which hides the URL in iOS 7.
It is a default feature in the Safar app which shows only the website name and domain, the users however can view the URL by tapping into the address bar.