Google has recently rolled out two new badges to be used for a new system of quality control in the Chrome Web Store. This is aimed at helping users more easily find the best extensions for their online activities quickly and easily, and without having to do a thorough scrutiny. Google claims it has already begun implementing its new system.
Google Chrome’s developer program has been hugely successful over the past decade, helping to generate much of the browser’s success. With well over 137,000 extensions now available at the Chrome Web Store, the general quality of the extensions, however, tends to vary.
With the new badges, Google hopes to make a clear distinction between extensions and publishers that meet the required standards and guidelines for security and over-all quality, and those that don’t.
The Featured Badge
The first of the badges has the icon of a prize ribbon and is given to extensions that follow Google’s technical best practices, while meeting a certain high standard of design and user-experience. This puts them into the “Featured” category.
Google claims that to achieve this ribbon, extensions must pass a rigorous evaluation to ensure they are using the latest APIs and that their general privacy practices and permission requests are up-to-scratch. The store page is also judged on its presentation and clearness of detail in outlining the extension’s purpose and features. A last criteria is for the extension’s core features to be available without requesting additional information, or any sort of payment, from the user.
The Established Publisher Badge
The second badge has the icon of a checkmark. This is given to established publishers that have both verified their identity, and proven themselves to be compliant with developer program policies. Furthermore, they need to have had a consistent service track record with no unresolved instances of policy violation.
Proving Their Mettle
Google has claimed that it will make no exception for the new standards of quality imposed on developers, and that the badges cannot be bought, but must be earned instead, just like wins when playing online blackjack. Publishers can, however, nominate their extensions for a badge of quality, whereupon it will enter evaluation.
Google’s Debbie Kim says that it has always been the company’s mission to provide the best extensions for Chrome while also giving publishers their due merit and recognition. They are also eager to do away with feelings distrust or hesitation when comes to using Chrome extensions.
This could be a big step for Google Chrome, one that could perhaps push them into a solid lead over other browsers in the coming future. Extensions and add-ons for browsers are steadily becoming more common nowadays, but none have the quite number and variety as the Chrome Web Store. With the new set of standards in quality and security for extensions drawing a massive 2.65 billion Chrome users to the Web Store, this could turn out to be a very good move for the company.