Google adds badges to help you avoid terrible Chrome extensions

Extensions for Google’s Chrome browser have always been a double-edged sword. On one hand, they’re…

Extensions for Google’s Chrome browser have always been a double-edged sword. On one hand, they’re the best way to personalize your browser to suit your needs. But on the other hand, the Chrome Web Store is a mess, offering extensions that are frequently useless and occasionally malicious. Google is aware of the problem and is trying to solve it with a new feature. This week, Google added two badges to the Chrome Web Store.

Google introduces two new badges

In a blog post on Wednesday, Chrome design manager Debbie Kim announced the Featured badge and the Established Publisher badge for the Chrome Web Store. Google says the point of the new badges is to “make it [easier] for users to find great extensions while recognizing the publishers who create them.” Both badges are now live in the store.

First up is the Featured badge, which looks like a prize ribbon. Chrome extensions with the Featured badge follow Chrome’s technical best practices and “meet a high standard of user experience and design,” Kim writes. Chrome’s team members manually evaluate extensions before awarding them with the Featured badge. This is what they look for:

  1. Adherence to Chrome Web Store’s best practices guidelines, including providing an enjoyable and intuitive experience, using the latest platform APIs and respecting the privacy of end-users.
  2. A store listing page that is clear and helpful for users, with quality images and a detailed description.

Up next is the Established Publisher badge, which looks suspiciously like the verified badge on Twitter. Google says that this other badge “showcases publishers who have verified their identity and demonstrated compliance with the developer program policies.” These are the two conditions that publishers have to meet to receive this badge:

  1. The publisher’s identity has been verified.
  2. The publisher has established a consistent positive track record with Google services and compliance with the Developer Program Policy.
See also  Google tried to troll Apple with this painfully cringey Drake video

Publishers should check out Google’s document for discovery on the Chrome Web Store to learn more about badges. Google will not allow publishers to pay to receive a badge. Instead, they can submit a request to have the extension reviewed.

Best extensions on the Chrome Web Store

We’ve covered Chrome extensions on multiple occasions in the past, highlighting some of the best that we’ve found. For example, last winter, we pointed our readers in the direction of CineLens. This extension (previously known as Netflix Lens) emulates the Prime Video feature which shows you details about what you’re watching when you pause. It works with Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, HBO Max, Hotstar, and more. It doesn’t have a badge, but it’s well-reviewed.

Years ago, we also shared a great list from Popular Mechanics of 15 extensions worth adding to Chrome. Some of those extensions do now have the Featured or Established Publisher badges, so be sure to check them out to see what the badges look like.