Google said this week that it will enhance its Chrome web browser over the next few versions to prevent some of the most annoying behaviors we see on the web today.
“Following on from features like Chrome’s pop-up blocker and autoplay protections, over the next few releases we’ll be rolling out three new protections designed to give users all the web has to offer, but without many types of unwanted behaviors,” Google’s Ryan Schoen explains in a post to the official Chromium blog.
These three improvements include:
Unexpected page navigation. Chrome users tell Google that they will sometimes be viewing a web page and have the browser suddenly navigate to a new page for seemingly no reason. “This redirect often comes from third-party content embedded in the page, and the page author didn’t intend the redirect to happen at all,” Schoen says. So Chrome 64 will prevent third-party iframes from redirecting the browser. And a note will appear in that iframe explaining that the navigation was blocked so you can identify the culprit.
Pop-up blocker circumnavigation. Some websites are circumnavigating the pop-up blocker built into Chrome by opening a link in a new tab while navigating the first tab to a new, unwanted page. “Starting in Chrome 65 we’ll also detect this behavior,” Schoen writes, “trigger an infobar, and prevent the main tab from being redirected.”
Other abusive experiences. Google is also preventing a number of other, harder-to-detect abusive web experiences, including “links to third-party websites disguised as play buttons or other site controls, or transparent overlays on websites that capture all clicks and open new tabs or windows.” These changes will come to the pop-up blocker in January, Schoen notes. And to help website owners prepare for the change, Google has opened an Abusive Experiences web portal so that they can see if anyone has reported them.
The current version of Chrome is 61, so these changes are still several weeks, or at least a few months, away.