Whenever there are updates to the web push industry we always want to pass the information along to our users. The latest update from Google Chrome has got some important information to be aware of. Starting with Chrome 84, which will release on July 14th of this year, there will be new protections against abusive notification prompts and abusive notifications.
Anyone using web push notifications for the right reasons does not have to worry about this. However, unfortunately, some people use notification prompts to try and trick or mislead users into opting in. This is clearly not a practice that we support and we are happy to see these protections put into place. For websites using abusive notification prompts or notifications, they will soon be automatically enrolled into the quiet notification UI that was released earlier this year.
Let’s dive into a little more detail so that you know exactly what is going to happen, as well as how to know that your website is safe and not going to be impacted by these changes.
Abusive Notification Prompts
You should never trick your audience into subscribing to your web push notifications. Permission requests that state that you must opt in to notifications in order to enter a website or view its contents are misleading and will now be considered abusive and result in the quiet notification UI.
Notice that there is an additional level of protection as well when the user clicks to enroll in notifications. What would be the standard opt-in prompt will now alert users that the site might be trying to trick them into allowing abusive notifications.
As Google notes, it is only a small number of websites that are engaging in these practices. This update will help reduce or eliminate these bad practices and instill confidence in users who choose to opt in to notifications at other sites.
Also enrolling in the quiet UI are any sites that send abusive notifications. For right now, this update will only apply to new subscribers considering opting in. However, Google does note that in the future they may add additional protections for users who have already opted in to websites sending abusive notifications.
Here is a quick rundown of the types of web push notifications that Google Chrome will consider abusive:
- Messages that resemble chat messages, warnings, or system dialogs.
- Attempts to steal or trick users into sharing personal information.
- Messages that promote or link to malware.
How to Check Your Site is Safe
As mentioned above, only a small fraction of websites engage in these practices. If you wish to double-check that your site is safe, you can do so. Make sure that you have added your website to Google’s Search Console. From there, you can navigate to their Abusive Notifications Report. If your site does receive a failing status, Search Console will send an email 30 days prior to enforcing this new rule. During this time, you can make changes to your notifications and re-submit your site for review.
Note: Receive a failing status and not sure what to do? Check out this guide for instructions on how to fix your website and how to re-submit for review once you have made changes.
We appreciate all the work that Google Chrome is doing to help provide everyone with a better browsing experience. While it is just a few number of websites engaging in these bad practices, it is still an annoyance that detracts from everyone else who uses notifications for the right reasons.
For added peace of mind we recommend that everyone goes ahead and runs the Abusive Notifications Report just to be sure that your website is good to go. 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.