Earlier in the year, we heard that Google had a grand plan to rethink the URL – or Uniform Resource Locators – and it seemed that they might be able to do this quite easily and quickly. One of the changes was to drop the “www” part of addresses shown in Chrome’s address bar, but this caused outrage, and it has since been reinstated as part of Chrome M70.
Instead, Google now has plans to ‘initiate a public standardization discussion’ or in other words, it wants you, the public, to weigh in on the change to change URLs.
Those against the change to dump URLs have argued that scrapping special-case sub-domains makes it harder to spot legitimate sites and puts people at risk of falling for online phishing scams. However, Google thinks that a cleaner address bar that is free from lengthy URLs made up of either both letters and/or numbers will make it easier to identify trustworthy domains.
Google Chromium product manager Emily Schecter has taken to the Chromium bugs blog to say that:
In Chrome 69, we rolled out a change to hide special-case subdomains “www” and “m” in the Chrome omnibox. After receiving community feedback about these changes, we have decided to roll back these changes in Chrome for Desktop and Android.
Google has stated that it will not try to standardise how browsers treat “www” and “m” URLs, however, the company will instead opting for a public discussion with standards bodies on the topic. That being said, once Chrome 70 launches and is rolled out, Google will revert to hiding “www” once more but will retain the “m” in URLs in Chrome.