Your Computer Isn’t Broken, Google Is Messing With The Colors Of Its Search Links

Chonlachai Panprommas /

Since the advent of the internet, there has been one default color to rule them all: Links you haven’t clicked on yet are blue. Those you have are purple. But now, Google is, once again, messing with the natural order.

Over the weekend, Google began experimenting with making links black instead of blue. The internet, always change-averse, wasn’t a fan:

So why would Google break with an internet tradition and incur the wrath of people who will immediately switch to… to… um, Bing, maybe? Cash. Google spends quite a bit of time studying color from an engineering perspective, and they claim it pays off. Back in 2009, it tested 50 different shades of blue on ad links, and making that change made the company an extra $200 million a year.

Google often runs what are called A/B tests or “1 percent” experiments, where a small number of users see a change the site is considering. In many cases you might not even notice the change, but they’re looking at what you’re doing and most importantly, what you’re clicking on. Or maybe some engineer was just curious to see how we’d react to the change.

Will the experiment stick? Possibly, but you never know with Google. These are the same people who decided to see what happens when computers dream, so for all we know, links will be neon green in the future. Just don’t revive the blink tag, guys, that’s one internet tradition that needs to stay dead.

(via The Verge)