Google is rolling out new badges to help people avoid bad Chrome extensions

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Google tries to make it easier for Chrome users to install useful extensions without having to check where they came from. The company claims to have started applying two new badges to extensions. The first, Featured, looks like an award ribbon and will be displayed on extensions that “follow our technical best practices and meet a high standard of user experience and design.”

Google says it’s a manual process that involves evaluating extensions for a “nice and intuitive experience,” ensuring developers are using the latest APIs, and keeping tabs on privacy practices. and the requested permissions of each extension. To receive the Featured label, extensions must also have a detailed business page that clearly describes their purpose. And finally, an extension’s core functionality “should be accessible without additional credentials or payments.”

Both new badges are live in the Chrome Web Store today.
Image: Google

The second badge will be displayed on extensions created by established publishers. This one, which has a checkmark design, is given to publishers “who have verified their identity and demonstrated compliance with the Developer Program policies.” But identity verification alone is not enough to earn the badge. Google also says extension creators must demonstrate “a consistent positive track record” with its services and have no outstanding Developer Policy violations. This means that brand new extension publishers will have to prove themselves first. Google notes that it “will take at least a few months of meeting these conditions to qualify.”

Businesses cannot pay for either of the new badges, although they can nominate an existing extension to receive the featured one. “Our mission has always been to make it easy for users to find great extensions while recognizing the publishers who create them,” Google’s Debbie Kim said in today’s blog post detailing the badges. The labels should help people feel better about clicking the install button without worrying about malicious extensions ending up on the Chrome Web Store.

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