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Chrome Web Store will display badges for reputable developers

Update 1 (04/20/2022 11:34 a.m. ET): Google has officially announced the new badge system. The company said in a statement, “Since 2009, publishers have worked hard to create extensions that make Chrome more powerful, useful and customizable for users. Our mission has always been to make it easy for users to find great extensions while recognizing the publishers who create them. Today we’re announcing two new expansion badges to help us achieve our goal: the Featured Badge and the Established Publisher Badge. Both badges are live on the Chrome Web Store today.

The article as published on April 20, 2022 is preserved below.

The Chrome Web Store is Google’s repository of extensions and themes for the Chrome web browser, which has had repeated issues with malicious extensions. The new Manifest V3 standard was intended to fix some of the excessive permissions given to browser extensions by default, and now Google will start highlighting reputable developers and publishers with a special badge.

Google wrote in an email to Chrome Web Store developers on Friday, “We are pleased to announce two new extension badges to help us achieve this goal: the Featured Badge and the Established Publisher Badge. These two badges will appear in stores in the coming weeks. Developers who earn these badges can receive higher rankings in search and filtering, and can also see their extensions appear in special promotions both on and off the Chrome Web Store.

“Developers who earn these badges can receive higher search and filter rankings”

The first is a featured badge, which “will be awarded to extensions that follow our technical best practices and meet a high standard of user experience and design.” This badge is manually assigned to extensions by the Chrome Web Store team. So there is no complete (public) list of guidelines, but the email did mention a clear store listing page and following best practices as some of the criteria.

The established publisher badge will be automatically granted to developers and publisher accounts that have been verified and “have established a positive track record consistent with Google services and compliance with the Developer Program Policy”. In other words, most developers who haven’t broken the Chrome Web Store rules Most likely get the badge at some point.

Google says publishers won’t be able to pay money for either badge, but the company is working on ways for developers to request consideration. Starting April 20, developers will be able to nominate their own extensions for a featured badge.

The new badges are similar to the Recommended Extensions program for Firefox, which contains extensions that “meet the highest standards of security, functionality, and user experience” after thorough evaluation by Mozilla. The program’s extensions receive a “Recommended” badge in the Firefox add-ons repository, nor can developers pay Mozilla to be included in the program.

Email to Chrome Web Store Developers

Dear Developer,

Since 2009, developers have worked hard to create extensions that make Chrome more powerful, useful, and personalized for users. The Chrome Web Store aims to make it easy for users to find premium extensions while recognizing the developers who create them. Today, we’re happy to announce two new expansion badges to help us achieve that goal: the Featured Badge and the Established Publisher Badge. These two badges will appear in stores in the coming weeks.

Developers who earn these badges can receive higher rankings in search and filtering, and can also see their extensions appear in special promotions both on and off the Chrome Web Store. Learn more about the new badges below.

Featured badge

The Featured badge will be awarded to extensions that follow our technical best practices and meet a high standard of user experience and design. Selected badges will be awarded to eligible extensions through our extension review system. The Chrome team will manually evaluate each extension before it receives the badge, paying particular attention to the following points:

  1. Adherence to Chrome Web Store best practice guidelines, including providing an enjoyable and intuitive experience, using the latest platform APIs, and respecting end-user privacy.
  2. A clear and useful Play Store page for potential users, with quality images and a detailed description.

Established Publisher Badge

The newly established publisher badge will feature developers who have verified their identity and demonstrated compliance with Developer Program policies. This badge will be granted automatically to publishers who meet the following two conditions:

  1. The identity of the publisher has been verified.
  2. The publisher has a consistently positive track record with Google Services and Developer Program Policy compliance.

All extensions created by a developer who follow the Chrome Web Store Developer Program Policies and have no unresolved violations will be considered. For new developers, it will take at least a few months of meeting these conditions to qualify. Today, that’s nearly 75% of all extensions in the Chrome Web Store, and we expect that number to continue to grow.

What do you need to do

There is no mandatory action, but we recommend that developers review their extension(s) over the next few weeks to ensure they meet our best practice guidelines.

Note that developers cannot pay to receive either badge, but we aim to provide other ways for them to claim their consideration. Starting April 20, 2022, the One Stop Support page will begin testing an option that allows developers to name extensions for the featured badge. Additional details will be available in the Discovery documentation on the Chrome Web Store.

We’re excited to recognize extension excellence on the Chrome Web Store with these new badges. Thank you for participating in the Chrome extension ecosystem!

– The Google Chrome Web Store Team