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March 20, 2014

Google's Truncated Titles

The Google Search experiment that increased titles and removed underlines from links was quickly added to the regular search interface last week. Now it's no longer an experiment.

While I don't miss underlines, making titles bigger removes a few words from long titles and that's not a good thing. Here are some search results for [google maps api]:

* "Google Street View hack turns your city into a post-apocalypt..." (full title: "Google Street View hack turns your city into a post-apocalyptic jungle")

* "Google puts a limit on free Google Maps API: over 25,000 da..." (full title: "Google puts a limit on free Google Maps API: over 25,000 daily and you pay")


As you can see from these examples, only a few words are removed, but the truncated titles are difficult to understand.

Here's a side-by-side comparison between the new layout and the old one:


From what I know, Google has never displayed a few characters from a word in search results titles. Now it has to do this.


Scanning a list of search results has turned into a game: "guess the title". "Department of Computer S..."? It must be "science". "Combinatorial optimization problems in wireless switch de..."? Hard to say.

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