Should Google Remove URLs from SERPs?

We all know that Google likes to change things up on us periodically.  Even notorious Matt Cutts has confirmed that Google will run approximately 20,000 new search experiments every year.  One experiment they’ve been running lately involves removing the URLs from search results.  Meaning it looks a little something like this:

no-urlsMobile view:

mobile-no-urlsWeird huh?  It seems as though users are finding this a little more inconvenient than just “weird.”

In an article on Search Engine Land, commentators expressed concern along the lines of not being happy that technology thinks it’s smarter than they are.  Many users express that they often look at the URLs themselves before trusting a site enough to click on it- even if Google may trust it.

In a forum post on Google, someone writes: “I really hope that this isn’t a forerunner of a real change to the search results page – we’ve had too many of these recently, from the removal of the instant preview to the messing around with green arrows to see more information. Google needs to realize that people get used to and trust a particular format and anything different (like the Google+ merged results for example) only confuses people and makes them trust the results less.”

While in some circumstances change is good, it seems like there is some debate to whether or not this will actually help users.  Google making their search engine less informative seems to be upsetting to current users, is this something that will cause problems or encourage spamming?

What are your thoughts on a lack of URL display in Google’s latest meddling with the results page?

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Sydney Banks

Sydney Banks is one of the Social Media Coordinators at Customer Magnetism. She spends her days in the office strategizing social media content, managing ad campaigns, and generating reports. Away from work, she stays busy entertaining an active Golden Retriever and being a wife and mom. She is only slightly obsessed with Minions and it’s not unusual to see minion paraphernalia close by at all times.