3 reasons why the Chrome Webstore Changes are disastrous

by Guest Author on December 23, 2012

in Articles, Guest Posts

Recently, Google radically changed the Chrome Webstore. All the extensions were taken out of the Webstore, leaving only the apps to be featured in the ‘Most Popular’ and the ‘Trending’ section. Main reason according to Google’s Developer Advocate Joe Marini, is that users have difficulties recognizing the differences between apps and extensions. Therefore, the extensions are relocated to the bottom of the webstore, and are also taken out of the default search.

Now Google does have a point, users do not see the difference between an extension and an app, and might end up installing a crappy extension that has access to all their private browsing data. This clearly compromises the user experience. However, taking all the extensions out of the ‘regular’ webstore is definitely not the way to go.

1.     Why develop extensions anymore?

Popular extensions as Adblock Plus, are now hidden in the Webstore. For regular mainstream users, it is virtually impossible to locate such extensions. Since it is so hard for users to download and install extensions, this takes away the incentive for developers to develop great extensions to improve the browsing experience. It will become too much of a challenge of keyword optimization for in-line installation purposes, instead of creating great solutions that are easily accessible. The negative impact on the impressions and installations of extension confirm this. One extension developer included a graph from his extensions, showing a decline of 70% in impressions and almost a drop of 30% in installs after the changes in the Webstore.

2.     Compromise of Chrome user experience

By hiding extensions, users have more difficulty locating browser-improving solutions. This means that fewer users will optimize and customize their browser with powerful tools such as Adblock Plus or Turn Off The Lights. There is a large group of potentially interested users that ‘spontaneously’ installed an extension, by seeing it ranking in the top 10 of the Webstore. This group will not be able find any extensions in the current state of the Chrome Webstore. Hence, the overall user satisfaction will decrease.

3.     Anti-adblocking

Some might argue this is a far-fetched argument, however, the recent changes could suggest that Google started to actively target adblockers. It is no secret that adblockers such as Adblock Plus were amongst the most popular extensions in the Webstore. The growth of adblockers in 2012 has been tremendous. In January 2012, a little over 5.5 million users had an adblocker installed; in december 2012 this number grew to over 18.8 million users. One can understand that this has serious implications for the ad revenue of Google. Trying to work against adblockers would be a bad development, since it is the most popular extension on Firefox, Opera and Google. Limiting the availability would potentially affect the browsing experience of many users.

[tp lang=”en” only=”y”]For more, please visit chromeadblock.org. For more information about adblocking, visit adblockplus.org

Guest articlew ritten by: Rutger van Dijk – Open-source enthusiast. Loves to write about Google Chrome, Chrome Webstore, Chromium and Adblock Plus. Owns and writes for http://chromeadblock.org.

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For more, please visit chromeadblock.org. For more information about adblocking, visit adblockplus.org

Guest articlew ritten by: Rutger van Dijk – Open-source enthusiast. Loves to write about Google Chrome, Chrome Webstore, Chromium and Adblock Plus. Owns and writes for http://chromeadblock.org.

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Comments & Leave a Comment

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Ankit @ Excel Tricks December 25, 2012 at 14:02

I believe they removed extensions like Adblock from webstore because these extensions were impacting Google’s business. Google earns more than 90% of its total revenue from ads and if these ads get blocked, it will eventually impact the adwords customers and thus Google.
So, it was an intelligent move on Google’s part.
Ankit @ Excel Tricks recently posted… SubTotal Function In Excel – How to Use

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Rajkumar Jonnala December 28, 2012 at 03:44

I agree with you, there will be a reduced user satisfaction. Really a bad time for developer when their extensions not installed.
Rajkumar Jonnala recently posted… Samsung Galaxy S2 Android 4.0 Download

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Mayuri December 28, 2012 at 08:28

After it’s launch users of chrome has been increaed day bu day,now it is most used browser,so with this developrs also start creating apps for it if a change occur then it ia waste of their work.google should take care of it

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Andrew December 29, 2012 at 19:46

:LOL: Anyway , I still love Chrome , Firefox to spend too much RAM and slow . And Chrome friendly than other browers
Andrew recently posted… Buy Black & Decker LP1000 Alligator Lopper 4.5 Amp Electric Chain Saw Deals

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Gonzi January 20, 2013 at 17:41

I think we have the world’s fastest and most extensive applications of internet browser google chrome

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Subash May 10, 2017 at 10:52

Compare to other browser i love Chrome, but sometimes am facing some issues…while adding extension to chrome….some times my the installed chrome got restored….

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