Google Chrome to punish websites that trick you into clicking hidden links disguised as Play buttons

It's a major problem, with a fifth of users complaining to the company about encountering unwanted content online

Google Chrome is stamping out one the most annoying things users experience while browsing the web.

It is tackling unwanted redirects, where a webpage unexpectedly navigates to a completely different page for no clear reason.

It’s a major problem, and Google says 20 per cent of feedback reports it receives from Chrome users on desktop include complaints about encountering unwanted content.

To combat this, Google will roll out three updates.

The first of these will prevent third-party content embedded in webpages from redirecting you to another page.

“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,” Chrome product manager Ryan Schoen wrote in a blog post.

“To address this, 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.”

Chrome 65, meanwhile, will tackle sites that open the desired destination in a new tab when you click a link, but redirect the main tab to a completely different page.

“This is effectively a circumvention of Chrome's pop-up blocker, one of users' favorite features,” said Mr Schoen.

“Starting in Chrome 65 we'll also 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.”

From early January, Chrome will prevent sites from tricking you into opening new windows or tabs by disguising links to third-party websites “as play buttons or other site controls, or transparent overlays on websites that capture all clicks”.

Google has been focusing on cleaning up Chrome over recent months, and also plans to give the browser the ability to mute and even block intrusive ads.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in