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Google tests black links, internet is furious



People don’t like change. Spotify’s logo hue switcheroo proved that. And now Google has proven it too.

Google is testing a new version of its search results page that features black links, not blue. The change isn’t global however; Google is A/B testing the feature, which means only select users will experience the black links.

The earliest Twitter reports of Google’s black links date back to May 7. There are also intermittent reports of Google testing different shades of blue, too.

black(Via Twitter)

In any case, the internet is furious. Obviously.

Twitter users have spoken out against the black links en masse, condemning Google for not consulting them about the change first.

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Fortunately, A/B testing is, well, testing. Google won’t necessarily adopt the change. The search engine giant likely wants to see whether black links increase the volume of search result click-throughs or, more likely, advertisement click-throughs.

Many of the outraged users make a fair point, however: the black links make it harder to tell whether you’ve visited a page previously. Usually, links turn from blue to purple when you’ve clicked them once. But the black links are always black.

Watch our Android N Hands-on:

What colour do you think Google’s search result links should be? Let us know in the comments.


May 9, 2016, 7:13 pm

These are typically A/B tests that search product teams from companies like google do on a routine basis to optimize the experience in terms of engagement, revenue etc.

Good news is that these tests are typically tracked on the client side(browser) using temporary client attributes like some id in a cookie or browser storage/cache, so you can potentially get out of a test. This is what worked for me and would work(hopefully) for you as well:

1) Open google.com and do a search

2) Now while on SERP(search results page), open google developer tools(press F12)

3) Go to 'Resources' tab

4) Clear local storage, session storage, cookies and cache storage (in some cases its right click and clear while in others you might have to click the first item in the list and keep the delete key pressed to delete all items)

5) Restart Browser

6) Go to google.com and search for something

Hopefully you will be back to standard experience unless the test buckets are really big, they are using some permanent or semi-permanent client attributes to bucket people.

Hope this helps!

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