Today Google announced some big changes to the Chrome Web Store and extensions. Chrome will now display a new badge designating “Featured” extensions or “Established Publishers” to keep users safe and free from malicious content.
It’s no secret that you can quickly find all sorts of themes, extensions, and add-ons with malicious intent or that don’t work correctly, and this is Google’s most significant step in addressing the problem.
This will help prevent users from adding potential harmful extensions, but it’ll make it easier to discover the best ones, too. That’s because trusted developers that earn a featured or established publisher badge will be clearly visible, and rank higher in search results. That way, we won’t have to scroll through pages of junk to find a helpful add-on.
Dealing with shady extensions or web store purchases isn’t new. It’s a long-standing problem on the Microsoft Store, even on Windows 11. This looks similar to Mozilla’s recommended extensions program for Firefox.
For Google Chrome, the first badge you’ll start seeing is the Featured badge. Google will add a special badge to any add-on or extension that meets its user experience and design standards, ensuring a good experience for anyone that chooses to use it.
And if you happen to find an add-on you like, you’ll even be able to check and see if Google trusts that developer. The new Established Publisher badges should help promote developers who have verified their identity with Google and use safe practices with design, privacy, user experience, etc. As Google put it, these developers maintain a “positive track record with Google services.”
Either way, this is an excellent step toward making it easier to find useful add-ons from developers users can trust. It’s important to note that any developer team with a positive track record should instantly get the Established Developer badge. However, the Featured badge will be rewarded on a case-by-case basis, and each extension a user submits gets tested and evaluated by a Chrome team member.
You’ll start seeing both of these badges appear on the Google Chrome Web Store today.