Technology

New Google Chrome Update Will Fight Tab Manipulation

Google Chrome 71 Abusive Experiences

Google Chrome plans to roll out a new update aimed at fighting tab manipulation, which involves manipulating users’ browsing history and preventing them from leaving when they click the “back” button. This malicious strategy allows the website administrator to generate money through invisible ads.

There are two types of internet users: those who open every new page in a new tab and close it if they are not satisfied with the results, and those who rely heavily on the “back” button located in the upper-left corner of most browsers, including Google Chrome.

Unfortunately for the latter users, some websites are guilty of tab manipulation. The practice essentially makes it look like they’re getting more traffic than they are because they make it difficult to leave their website. Pressing the “back” button multiple times on these websites does no good, and you’ll quickly realize that you’re stuck on a website which isn’t letting you escape. However, Google Chrome plans to roll out a new update which should stamp out this unethical practice.

Here’s how tab manipulation works. Every time users try to escape the malicious website, it inserts an ad into their tab history, so every time you click the “back” button, an ad loads and generates views for the website.

When the update is released, Google Chrome will flag the websites which manipulate users’ tab history. The browser will also send metrics about the encounter to Google to analyze. The new feature is just another effort from Google to fight malicious websites.

Just last month, the company announced another update which will flag websites with malicious and disturbing ads. This means Google will blacklist websites which are repeat offenders and remove malicious ads. The update targets websites which present abusive experiences, include ads which look like system errors, pop-ups with fake boxes, phishing attempts, and malware.

Google’s newest source code for Chromium (spotted by 9to5Google) flags pages suspected of tab manipulation with this string: “#enable-skip-redirecting-entries-on-back-forward-ui.” When users hit the “back” button on offending websites, Google will register these flags, skip them and then exit the website via the backward or forward navigation buttons.

It will take some time before the new technology arrives on the desktop and mobile versions of Google Chrome. However, if you want to test the new feature yourself, you can download the beta version of Chrome, like the canary build, which reveals new experimental features. However, unless you’re a developer and/or enjoy tinkering around with code, we don’t recommend downloading it because it’s still too unstable for daily use, according to Google.