#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 15°C Sunday 26 June 2022

People are confused over Google changing its links from blue to black

It’s part of its regular design tests to see what its users respond to better.

Image: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

LIKE MANY TECH companies, Google carries out a large number of tests with users before making them an official feature.

Since it has a large number of users, it’s able to test something and get results pretty quickly, but sometimes those tests can be incredibly specific.

In one test in 2014, it experimented with different shades of blue for its advertising links. After finding out which shade of blue users responded to better and implementing it, one Google executive said it had earned the company an extra $200 million a year in revenue.

The latest test sees it replacing the colour of links from blue and purple, depending on whether they’ve been clicked or not, to black.

The change means users are unable to tell whether they have visited a link or not, a design choice that can be found across the web.

While such tests are only available to a small number of users, those seeing it are either annoyed or just confused by the test.

Google has a habit of making small changes to its design. Back in 2014, it made a tiny change to its logo, moving the g one pixel to the right and the l one pixel down. A year later, it gave its logo an overhaul after it reformed with its parent company, Alphabet.

Read: This patch will say you’re at risk of being sunburned before it happens >

Read: You may want to continue using PayPal if you’re funding any risky projects >

About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

Read next: