Chrome Web Store will have a big “cleaning” in August

Cleaning the Chrome Web Store
Written by Emma Davis

Google developers have announced that they are introducing new rules for the Chrome Web Store, which are designed to reduce the number of unnecessary and suspicious extensions. Those who do not comply with these rules will be subject to a large cleaning in August.

The Chrome Web Store currently has over 200,000 extensions. These measures were developed due to the influx of scammers in the extension catalog. So, last year, Chrome has blocked the AdBlock and uBlock extensions due to data manipulation using cookie stuffing, and in January 2020, Google experts were forced to indefinitely stp publishing and updating any commercial extensions for Chrome.

That time in the Chrome Web Store appeared a large number of paid extensions, noticed in fraudulent transactions.

Because of scammers, the number of duplicate, spam and frankly malicious extensions that flooded the directory with low-quality and dangerous content is growing rapidly. Also in recent months, dozens and even hundreds of malicious extensions have been removed from the director, and it is definitely time for the profound changes”, – write Google representatives.

As a result, from August 27, 2020, a new set of rules for the Chrome Web Store will take effect, and a large number of extensions will be excluded from the catalog.

These policies are designed to curb some of the practices that developers have been actively abusing recently, and because of this, the Chrome Web Store is flooded with suspicious extensions, and the number of installations of low-quality content is growing.

The new rules look like this:

  • developers can no longer duplicate extensions (for example, extensions with wallpapers that have different names but provide the same wallpaper during installation);
  • extensions are not allowed to use keyword spam, fill metadata with a lot of keywords and add the extension to several categories in order to improve its “visibility” in the search results;
  • developers are not allowed to use misleading, incorrectly formatted, uninformative, irrelevant, excessive or inappropriate metadata. Extension metadata must be correct and understandable, and Google intends to strictly monitor this;
  • developers are not allowed to inflate the rating of their products, generate reviews or the number of installations by illegal means, such as fraudulent or paid downloads, reviews and ratings;
  • extensions that have only one purpose (for example, launching a specific web page or application) are no longer allowed in the directory;
  • extensions that abuse notifications, spam advertisements or other messages are now also prohibited.

Developers have time until August 27 to bring their products in accordance with the new requirements. After this date, Google engineers intend to remove all extensions that violate the rules from the Chrome Web Store.

It is expected that after this “cleaning” thousands of junk and malicious extensions for Chrome will disappear from the catalog, and the search for useful content will become much easier and safer.

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About the author

Emma Davis

I'm writer and content manager (a short time ago completed a bachelor degree in Marketing from the Gustavus Adolphus College). For now, I have a deep drive to study cyber security.

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