Google removes underlined links from search results, Bing still employs them

Google is always making alterations to its search algorithms, but those kinds of changes can't really be seen by users. This week, Google made some visible design improvements to its desktop search results, including eliminating underlines from links to other sites.

Bye bye, underlined links.

The changes were confirmed this morning by Google lead designer Jon Wiley. While having web search links appear with underlines was a good way to highlight them in the 1990s during the beginnings of the World Wide Web, modern web browsers and users really don't need them anymore. If you still like that old fashioned look, you can head over to Microsoft's Bing site, which continues to employ underlines on its search links.

If you want to go old school on search design looks, there's always Bing.

Wiley also pointed out that Google has also increased the size of the search result titles in this new design, and the line heights have been evened out. He stated this change "improves readability and creates an overall cleaner look." Ironically, Google went live with this design on the same day that the world celebrated the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web.

Source: Jon Wiley on Google+ via The Verge

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46 Comments

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Most pages I go to haven't used underlined links in a long time, including here at Neowin. I didn't mind it underlined though, but true it isn't need.

j2006 said,
From a web accessibility standpoint, it's a bad move.

Please explain. I don't agree with you, but I'm interested to hear why you think so?

Well if you suffer from some forms of color blindness, I would imagine that it would be hard to determine what's a link and what's not.

Just as some of the commenters of above said, Google has copied MANY more things from Bing than the vice-versa. Do your research.

Why does it matter? I mean, if no laws are broken and IP being stolen, who the hell cares. I can guarantee that MS and Google dont give 2 shits that features are being copied as long as nothing is being infringed on.

wingliston said,
Google still hiding things in popup menus. Did they forget people still use widescreens?

No, they just know what people need more.

neonspark said,
WOW innovation.

Much like your post. It's getting a bit tiresome to read replies like this every time a company makes a small change.

Bing has been increasingly looking like Google. Microsofts plan is to trick people into thinking they are doing a google when they are actually using the Bing search engine. (I refuse to make Bing a noun)

Same here. I have noticed that things have gotten cleaner on the results page, but it has been inconsistent on my end so figured it was temporary.

simplezz said,
Don't worry it won't take long for Bing to copy it
Go take a look at Bing Image search, then go look at Google Image search. Guess who was first?

Indeed, Bing. Google copied the design, also, a while ago Microsoft already showcased a Bing design without underlinded links.

I've had it for about a month now. IMO it's the worst parts of the Metro UI, and without any of the fluidity or animations. I can't stand it.

Everyone should know what a hyperlink is. No need for underlines anymore. Cant say that I like the new look to much (saw it a couple days ago), but I still get better results so I will deal with it.

This week, Google made some visible design improvements to its desktop search results, including eliminating underlines from links to other sites.

All underlines have been removed. Not just other sites.