In Chrome 71, Google is performing an experiment where the browser will show a Google search query in the address bar instead of the Google search results URL.

Announced by by Google Chrome evangelist François Beaufort on his Google+ page, this new experimental feature is called "Query in Omnibox" and simples causes Google search result pages to display the search query in the browser's address bar.

To illustrate how this works, when you are using Chrome and perform a search on Google, the address bar will show a normal URL for the search result page.

Google URL showing in address bar
Google URL showing in address bar

When you enable the "Query in Omnibox" feature, instead of the Google URL being displayed in the address bar, it instead shows what words that you searched for as shown below.

Search query showing in address bar
Search query showing in address bar

If you click on the address bar, though, and copy the keyword, you will instead copy the URL. That way you can still email or post URLs for search results.

Clicking in the address bar
Clicking in the address bar

Personally, I think it would be better if Google made it so that the URL is displayed once you click in the omnibox to make it more intuitive. Otherwise, users may not understand that they are copying an URL and not the search keywords.

How to test this feature

To enable this feature, you can download Chrome Canary and then configure the chrome://flags/#enable-query-in-omnibox experimental flag. This feature has a description of:

Only display query terms in the omnibox when viewing a search results page.

The following steps will show you how to enable the "Query in Omnibox" feature.

  1. Make sure you have Chrome Canary installed.
  2. Once installed, type chrome://flags/#enable-query-in-omnibox in the address bar and press enter.
  3. When the flag is displayed, change its setting to Enabled.
    enable-query-in-omnibox Flag
    Query in Omnibox Flag
  4. Chrome will prompt you to relaunch Chrome in order to enable the features.

Once Chrome has been relaunched, you can go to Google and perform a search. Instead of an URL appearing, it will now show the query in the address bar.


Related Articles:

Chrome 71 Released With Abusive Ad Filtering and Audio Blocking

Chrome and Firefox Developers Aim to Remove Support for FTP

Google is Adding Force-Installed Extension Removal to the Chrome Cleanup Tool

Speech Synthesis API Being Restricted in Chrome 71 Due to Abuse

Internal Chrome Page Shows All Google Interstitial Warnings