Google has recently announced that new protections from abusive notifications are part of Google Chrome 86. As a refresher, Chrome version 84 brought about several features to provide protection against abusive notification prompts and notifications (read our blog post for a full run-down on those features). This latest update will provide additional protections specifically dealing with abusive notifications themselves.
Google has actually been dealing with this issue dating back to Google Chrome 80, where they introduced what they call the ‘quiet’ notification prompt. This new prompt was reserved for websites that already had low opt-in rates, or for individuals who frequently block notification requests. The goal? A better overall user experience.
Google Chrome 84 took the quiet notification prompt further by auto-enrolling any website that featured an abusive permission request, such as those that try to trick users into subscribing to their push notifications. With this update, the goal was not just a better user experience, but also a safer experience for all users.
Online safety of every Chrome user continues to be the goal for Google, and this Chrome 86 update will help. As we’ve said before, there will be no impact on websites that use web push notifications for the right reasons. In fact, safety features will only help legitimate websites who provide helpful push notifications to their users.
By eliminating bad web push notifications, Chrome users will have more confidence in the push notifications they do subscribe to.
So, what is new about Chrome 86? The quiet prompt still exists and certain websites will still be auto-enrolled into the quiet prompt. However, now, Google is cracking down even more on notifications themselves (not just opt-in prompts). This means that websites that are sending abusive content via web push notifications will also enroll into the quiet prompt.
Google’s web crawlers, as Google puts it, will “occasionally subscribe to website push notifications if the push permission is requested” and the notifications that are sent will be evaluated for abusive content. If the content does get flagged as abusive (this could mean the notification links to malware, mimics the appearance of a system message, or tricks users into sharing personal information, to name a few) the website will be enrolled in the quiet notification prompt if the issue is not fixed within 30 days.
If you are concerned that your website will get flagged, understand that Google Search Console will send an email to the registered site owner as well as any users you have added to your Search Console. You will have 30 days to resolve any issues and request a review of your website.
Alternatively, you can always go into Search Console and go to the Abusive Notifications Report to check your website status. Should you ever receive a failing status, check out this guide for the steps to take to fix your website and request a review.
Google Chrome 86 is out now, meaning this feature is live. While you should not be concerned about your website’s status if you use web push notifications for the correct reasons, you can always check your Search Console for your website’s status.
Here at Aimtell we only support websites that utilize web push notifications for the right reasons. Google’s work to help discourage websites from using web push for the wrong reasons is something we fully support. This way, websites and users alike can continue to enjoy web push notifications.
As always, if you have any questions about this update, be sure to reach out and ask us. We also recommend reading up on how you can increase your push notification click-through rate, some overall web push best practices, or for a more general overview, you can always check out our Beginner’s Guide.