Chrome puts a brake on spam and browser notifications

Chrome is ready to put a brake on pop up ads to improve the user experience: here's what's changing

Too many pop up adsĀ  asking the user to sign up for newsletters or accept notifications. Google says enough: starting from version 80 of Chrome browser, which will be released starting from February 4, websites that flood the user with notifications will have to radically rethink their graphic interface.

As Mozilla has already done in Firefox, in fact, Google is going to introduce in Chrome a block of pop up notifications coming from websites. Nowadays, a lot of websites show, as soon as the user opens a page, a big pop up that comes down from Chrome's address bar and hides most of a page. Many times, this pop up also blocks access to the website, preventing users from reading any content until they click on the notification or a few seconds pass. Some times, then, pop ups are even used to deliver viruses of various kinds. All this is about to end.

How Chrome's pop up blocker works

Starting with version 80 Chrome (both desktop and mobile versions) will automatically block pop ups sent by websites. Each time you block, you will see a notification on the right side of the address bar, just before the star to bookmark the site, and a cut off bell icon. By clicking on this bell the user will be able to choose to enable pop-ups. There will be three ways to enable this new feature: manual, automatic for users who accept notifications every now and then, and automatic for the most annoying sites.

The "annoyingness" of a site will be calculated based on how many times on average users reject and close pop-ups and will be reported in the Chrome User Experience Report. Among those who deal with search engine optimization (SEO) there is already the fear that a possible "annoyingness index" of a site could become a penalizing parameter in SEO.

Dangerous pop-ups

If Google has put a brake on pop-ups it is both to improve users' browsing experience and to protect their security. In recent years, hackers and cybercrime groups have started using pop-ups as a way to deliver viruses to users: if users accidentally click on the wrong button they unknowingly sign up to a malicious site, and in the following days they are flooded with more pop-ups that may also contain links to malware-infected downloads.