Google tries turning search links black (update: statement)

Spinal Tap would approve, but does anyone else?

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Jon Fingas
May 9th, 2016
In this article: culture, gear, google, internet, search, web
Google tries turning search links black (update: statement)

As much as Google has changed over the years, there have always been certain constants in its search results: a plain white background, 10 results per page and blue site links. However, some users have had to cross that last one off their list. The Telegraph has noticed that Google recently started testing black links, giving the page a certain This is Spinal Tap (or maybe goth) flair. There doesn't appear to be a clear pattern that determines who gets picked, but some test subjects have reported that the links revert to blue when you log out of your Google account and sign back in.

Google has declined to comment so far (we've asked for a statement regardless). However, as with most such experiments, it's safe to say that those black links aren't guaranteed to reach everyone. Their fate likely depends on both raw test data and public feedback. The links may get the A-OK if Google sees more people clicking results, or fade into oblivion if there's enough of a public outcry. One thing's for sure: the very fact that this is even an issue shows just how much people take Google's design for granted.

Update: As you might expect, Google tells us that it regularly runs experiments, and that it's not certain that the links will change color. You can check out the full (and slightly cheeky) statement below.

"We're always running many small-scale experiments with the design of the results page. We're not quite sure that black is the new blue."

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