Google Chrome going after unwanted redirects to preserve our online sanity

The team behind the Google Chrome browser has pledged to kickstart 2018 by killing off one of the most despised internet pet peeves; unwanted website redirects.

In Chrome 64 and 65 on desktop and Android, Google will tackle the ads and websites that lure users into opening another site.

This will include dastardly items like fake play buttons or ‘X’ buttons that trick users into thinking they’re closing down overlays.

Related: 15 Essential Chrome extensions

Google Chrome’s efforts will also put a stop to those random redirects where clicking a link opens the URL a new tab, while the original page reverts to an unwanted site.

Google has a three-pronged strategy to combat the problems, which will roll out in the first three months of 2018.

In an explainer on the Chromium blog, Google wrote: “One piece of feedback we regularly hear from users is that a page will unexpectedly navigate to a new page, for seemingly no reason. We’ve found that 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.”

Preventing surprising redirects

The first stage comes in Chrome 64 with the browser set to show users an infobar instead of the redirect.

Google writes: “In Chrome 64 all redirects originating from third-party iframes will show an infobar instead of redirecting, unless the user had been interacting with that frame. This will keep the user on the page they were reading, and prevent those surprising redirects.”

Next up Google plans to tackle the “circumnavigation of the pop-up blocker” when sites send users to a new tab and open an unwanted site in the original.

Chrome 65, out in March, will “detect this behavior, trigger an infobar, and prevent the main tab from being redirected. This allows the user to continue directly to their intended destination, while also preserving the context of the page they came from.”

Finally, from January, Google will boost Chrome’s pop up blocker to ensure pages that redirect users via fake play/close window buttons no longer have the power to open up new tabs or windows.

Google is also making it easier for site owners to discover whether their site is among those in question.

The Abusive Experience report, launching today, will enable site owners discover whether “any of these abusive experiences have been found on their site and improve their user experience.”

The three-pronged scheme could potentially dramatically improve the browsing experience for visitors to, erm, certain sites.

Will these improvements convince you to switch to Chrome? Drop us a line with your thoughts @TrustedReviews on Twitter. 

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