What Should Publishers Know About the Chrome 86 Update?

chrome 86 - push notifications

It’s normal for Google, the company that developed the Chrome browser, to update its products and introduce new features that improve user experience. In most cases, these changes are minor, so they receive little attention. However, Google has recently announced a new update called Chrome 86 that may have put some publishers on edge.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Google is already in the process of rolling out Chrome 86, so we’ve created an article covering the new updates the company is introducing and how these will affect publishers. We’ll also include tips on what our publishers should do in case their content is mistakenly flagged by Google.

What the hell is going on?!

First of all, it’s important to understand that this update is not as bad as many are making it sound. 

Google has previously analyzed the contents of certain ad formats on publishing sites and the search giant has recently started paying more attention to push notifications. 

One of the company’s main goals is to deliver an excellent customer experience by creating a safe web notification ecosystem. To do so, Google will now start to add enforcements specifically directed at websites that send abusive content in their push notifications. For example, sites that send notifications containing links to malware or messages that mimic a device’s administrative alerts.

In simple terms, Google will start blocking requests from websites that send push notifications containing spam, fraudulent messages, and other forms of abusive content.

Defining content that has malicious purposes

Malicious content can be defined as creatives that are designed to extract valuable information from users. The data collected is usually sold or used to target individuals while engaging in deceitful or fraudulent activities, like identity theft.

Additionally, abusive or malicious content may also aim to install malware, ransomware, and other types of software that assist cybercriminals.

How will users see the alerts?

Google released a blog covering this topic, which you can check out here. Once they’re on Chrome 86, mobile and desktop users will see a quiet notification that encourages users to keep blocking notifications from malicious sites.

Gif via Chromium blog

Desktop users will see a small bell on the right side of the URL bar, whereas mobile users will see a small pop-up window at the bottom of their device.

Chrome’s Detection Strategy

Chrome is using the technology it already has in place to identify malicious notification. Web crawlers, which are in charge of scouring the web and reading all content on a site, occasionally sign up to push notifications. Then, Google tests the messages sent in a safe environment to determine whether or not they contain abusive content.

Our position on the new updates

We’d like to start by saying that we are monitoring the situation closely, both in terms of push notification updates and fraud detection technology.

At PropellerAds, we use some of the most advanced monitoring and quality assurance systems available, so our team is constantly monitoring our feed to ensure that it’s clean and that we only work with reliable advertisers.

We strongly encourage you not to panic! Our team will keep you updated if there are any additional changes, and we’ll keep working on filtering malware, fraudulent ads, and other types of malicious content.

How to understand that you have got an abusive notification?

Websites will be checked automatically (read above on how it works), all status info can be found in Google Search Console. If the website has been checked, and many violations were detected, you should fix them as soon as possible. After that, the website must be re-checked (in the case of the first violation, 30 days are given to fix it).

If the status of such website does not change, Chrome will block notifications and requests for permissions (in this case the domain status will not change to default).

To check whether your website is flagged for abusive content, please, visit the abusive notification report

If Chrome mistakenly detects my site, what should I do?

If by any chance your site is unfairly penalized, immediately contact your PropellerAds account manager. We’ll take care of the rest and ensure that your site is back to normal as soon as possible.

If you need help – please contact our support. Want to share your opinion? Leave a comment in the comment section down below.


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