The Chrome Web Store is the go-to place when it comes to the installation of extensions for the browser. Since many browsers are based on the same core as Chrome, users of these browsers may also install extensions from Google’s store.
The badge may look similarly to the recommended badge that Mozilla has been using since 2019 in the Firefox Add-on Store, and there are indeed some similarities. Recommended Firefox extensions are curated by Mozilla, and extensions with the featured badge in Chrome are also handpicked by Chrome team members.
Google notes that featured extensions follow the company’s best practices technically and “meet a high standard of user experience and design”. Furthermore, to be selected by a member of the Chrome team, extensions need to respect the privacy of users and have a “store listing page that is clear and helpful to users” and featuring “quality images and a detailed description”.
The second badge that Google launched on the Chrome Web Store provides validation for publishers. The “Established Publisher badge” highlights publishers on the Chrome Web Store that verified their identity and have a “consistent positive track record with Google services and compliance with the Developer program policy”.
The publisher badge is displayed to the right of the publisher name or web address. It comes in different sizes, that depend on the length of the publisher name.
Google notes that any extension developer will be considered, provided that the developer does not “have any unresolved violations and follows the Chrome Web Store Developer Program Policies”. It takes at least a couple of months for new developers before they quality for inclusion.
Google is running trials for other inclusion options. Currently, it is running a trial that “allows developers to nominate extensions for the Featured badge”.
The Featured badge confirms that an extension adheres to Google’s best practices and respects user privacy. It does not tell users anything about the provided functionality or how useful it is. One of Chrome’s most popular extensions, uBlock Origin, does not have the featured bag nor the provider verification badge, but it is still one of the most useful extensions for the browser.
The Established Publisher badge looks to be more useful, as it weeds out new publishers and some of the malicious actors. While it should not be trusted blindly by Chrome users, it may play a factor when it comes to verifying Chrome extensions.
Now You: what is your take on Chrome’s new established publisher and featured badges?