Google is testing an alternative to its iconic blue links in search results: Turning them black.
The company A/B tests various tweaks to its products all the time, but this swap feels particularly jarring since the search engine has kept the same overall colour scheme since its earliest days of “10 bare blue links.”
Google has proven in the past that its scale means that something like a small shift in shade can have big consequences. In the early days, Google tested 40 different shades of blue for its links and the winning hue helped it reel in an extra $200 million a year in ad revenue.
Some users are are saying that the change makes it harder to differentiate between which links they have clicked and which they haven’t.
Besides trying out black links, Google’s experimenting with different shades of blue as well. Business Insider’s Rob Price says that he’s been seeing a lighter blue than usual when not logged into his Chrome browser:
Here are some of the thoughts and reactions that have flooded Twitter over the past few days:
Unsubscribe google-black-links experiment. Stat.
— Chris Lambert (@trichris) May 8, 2016
google’s black links are making me uncomfortable i keep thinking that i’ve gone colour blind
— ollie (@owllms_) May 7, 2016