The first badge will look like a prize ribbon. Source: Google Blog
The first badge will look like a prize ribbon. Source: Google Blog

Google is rolling out a new feature that will make it easier for users to install Chrome installations faster and in a more secure way. The new update means that you won’t need to scrutinize extensions for hours to ascertain safety. Google will do this for you by applying two new badges on all extensions available to Chrome users. 

The first badge will look like a “prize ribbon.” Google says that it will be used on extensions that follow its “technical best practices.” The badge will also be applied to extensions that meet “the highest standards of user experience and design.” The search engine company says that all extensions will be assessed manually to see if they meet this criterion. 

Extensions that use the proper APIs, enhanced security, and better user privacy will get prioritized over others. Extensions will also need to provide a detailed store page with clear descriptions of what they do and the value the extensions intend to deliver to the consumer. Google also says that extensions must allow access to their core features without any additional costs or credentials for the user.

There will also be an extension reserved for established publishers. Source: Google Blog
There will also be an extension reserved for established publishers. Source: Google Blog

This badge will target all extensions from all over the world. Google will also be launching another extension which will be reserved for established publishers. It will largely be a checkmark and it will be given to publishers who have verified their identity with Google. Publishers will need to prove consistent compliance with the developer practices that Google aspires for. 

They must also show a consistent “positive track record” and must not have any previous policy violations with the search engine giant. This will disadvantage new creators. It means that developers putting out new extensions will need to prove themselves first before they get accredited. And since most users are likely to use these badges as a strong measure of extension quality, newer apps may end up getting overlooked. 

Google in fact says that it will take “at least a few months” for new creators to get verified and approved for these badges. This is a long time and may limit good extensions from achieving the required market reach. Also, the search engine giant has made it clear that developers cannot pay for these badges.

Google will examine apps on a case-by-case basis. Source: CNET
Google will examine apps on a case-by-case basis. Source: CNET

Nonetheless, to help fast-track the process of verification and accreditation, Google will allow users and developers to nominate apps that they feel deserve these badges. The nominated extensions can be new or old. Once they are nominated, Google will examine them on a case-by-case basis. Google says that it has always been its mission to help users find useful Chrome extensions. 

The new changes will also make it easier for Chrome users to know the people behind some of the most popular extensions out there. Besides, Google is hoping that the badge program will help infuse confidence in extensions. After all, it will be much easier for people to trust apps that have a verified Google badge. This is more or less a seal of approval and clearly, Google will make developers earn it.