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Entering a URL for a specific website is so easy for most Internet users that the simple action is often taken for granted. But not everybody has the mobility or capability to do so and can find it challenging, especially on devices with small text or address bars. Google is assisting those with accessibility limitations by making several changes to the Chrome browser, including checking for URL typos.

Tip: need a change? Learn how to switch from Chrome to Safari on Mac in six easy steps.

Making Browsing Easier

Image source: Unsplash

To prevent this from happening, Google introduced a few changes to its Chrome browser, including the ability to spellcheck a website’s URL. When Chrome thinks there could be a typo, it will suggest websites based on the corrections.

“This increases accessibility for people with dyslexia, language learners, and anyone who makes typos by making it easier to get to previously visited websites despite spelling errors,” Google explained in a blog post.

The URL typo checker is initially available for Chrome on desktop computers, but the function will roll out for mobile phones soon.

As part of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Google also released an update for Live Caption, which uses artificial intelligence to provide real-time captions for any sound produced on your Android phone. Similar to the way Apple’s iPhone can speak for you during calls, Google’s Live Caption lets you “type back responses during calls and have the response read aloud to the other caller.”

Tip: if you need added security on your device, learn how to create Passkeys with Google.

Image credit: Unsplash

Charlie Fripp

Charlie Fripp is a technology writer with a strong focus on consumer gadgets, video games, and cyber security. He holds an undergraduate degree in professional journalism and has worked as a journalist for over 15 years. In his spare time, he enjoys playing various musical instruments and gardening.

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Wix Integrates Google Url Inspection Api

Wix is integrating Google’s URL Inspection API directly into the new Wix Site Inspection Tool, providing users with an easy way to achieve and maintain a good search presence.

Users can now view insights into how Google is indexing a site and debug technical issues like structured data on a sitewide basis.

Search Console URL Inspection API

In January 2023, Google announced a new Application Programming Interface (API) that enables the creation of tools that can access URL inspection data.

This is called the Search Console URL Inspection API.

The launch of this API was important because it allowed users to create custom ways to access and use valuable data on how a site is performing in Google.

Google’s January announcement of the API explained why it is important:

“The Search Console APIs are a way to access data outside of Search Console, through external applications and products.

With the new URL Inspection API, we’re providing a new tool for developers to debug and optimize their pages.

You can request the data Search Console has about the indexed version of a URL; the API will return the indexed information currently available in the URL Inspection tool.”

Wix Integration of RL Inspection API

Users of Wix now have access to this data within a Wix dashboard.

Nati Elimelech, Head of SEO at Wix, explained what Wix users would be able to do:

“The tool will report any index status that Google is reporting, sometimes with easier language to understand.

For example, it could be “crawled but not indexed” or “blocked by robots.txt” etc. Each index status detail will have a “learn more” link to an article explaining it and mentioning the common reasons why it could happen, with links to more relevant explanations.

We also tell the users exactly what app and type of page each URL is so they can easily know where they need to take action.”

Google’s API also helps debug structured data, which is super important. Proper structured data makes websites eligible to have their webpages displayed in what Google terms enhancements to search.

Enhancements to search are a special kind of search result that stands out. They are also known as Rich Results.

Google can sometimes read the information on a page and algorithmically decide to include it as a rich result.

But using structured data makes it easier for Google to do.

Consequently, it’s vital to use structured data to become eligible for enhanced search results that make a webpage result stand out and attract more site visitors.

Google’s structured data tool uses words like “warning,” which gives the false impression that something is wrong. But that’s not always the case. Google marks potential issues with a “warning” for an optional variable.

Wix’s implementation of the structured data debugging put the warnings into the proper context by naming it an “optional fix.”

Elimelech confirmed that Wix’s implementation of the API would help debug structured data:

“Absolutely, if a required field is missing, it will show as “issue” in the table and in the panel you will see which field is missing.

Users will see the exact fields that are missing in the structured data markup and its severity – including issues that require action, or just optional fields that can be added to enrich the markup.

If it’s a recommended field that is missing you will see “optional fix” in the table and in the panel of the exact fields that are missing.

We adjusted some of the language to better reflect the actual impact on the users’ site, so we changed what may feel like alarming warnings for recommended fields to “optional fix” so users will understand that it is a recommendation and not something that is making their pages ineligible for rich results on Google’s SERPs.”

Solving Indexing Issues

The new Wix URL Inspection tool will also be able to call attention to indexing issues, which will give businesses an early warning to fix something before it becomes a major problem.

According to Wix:

“With this tool, users can debug any issue that they would get if they manually used Search Console’s inspect URL tool.

Users can understand the index status of their pages in Google and the specific reason for it.

For each issue, we have additional resources to help guide users.

These articles provide in depth explanations about each response, the possible reasons for it and how to fix it.

Users will also be able to debug their mobile readiness and their structure data status.”

Wix Platform Handles Technology

The value of Wix is that it enables businesses to focus on doing business without having to deal with the underlying technology.

Wix continues to be a leader in professional website builders by being the first SaaS site builder platform to integrate the Search Console URL Inspection API and making it easy to interpret the data and use it to help maximize search presence.

Citation Read the Wix Documentation:

Get to know the Wix Site Inspection tool

Featured image by Shutterstock/Gorodenkoff

Google Chrome Penalized For Violating Quality Guidelines

When Google recently hired two top marketing agencies to promote the Chrome web browser using video content, Google assumed that the promotion would be conducted in a manner that was consistent with its own quality guidelines. However, the marketing campaign violated Google’s own rules when it paid bloggers to post “reviews” of the web browser and those payments resulted in at least one link that passed PageRank to the browser’s website and low quality content.

Google recently issued a statement that addressing the issue:

As a result of the Chrome browser hiring firms that violated Google’s own rules, Google has levied a penalty against the browser that lowers the PageRank of chúng tôi and demotes the site within the search engine results. Matt Cutts, Google’s head of webspam said the following of the situation:

“In response, the webspam team has taken manual action to demote chúng tôi for at least 60 days. After that, someone on the Chrome side can submit a reconsideration request documenting their clean-up just like any other company would. During the 60 days, the PageRank of chúng tôi will also be lowered to reflect the fact that we also won’t trust outgoing links from that page.”

The penalty, which is already in effect, is preventing the chúng tôi from ranking on the first page for search queries that it usually ranks high for. For example, Chrome is not found in the top-ten results for the terms “Chrome,” “Chrome browser,” or “Internet browser.”

Essence Digital has issued a public apology to Google for mismanaging the campaign:

“In this case, Google were subjected to this activity through media that encouraged bloggers to create what appeared to be paid posts, were often of poor quality and out of line with Google standards. We apologize to Google who clearly didn’t authorize this.”

Although it may seem harsh to penalize Google Chrome for actions they did not specifically authorize, any other action would be hypocritical concerning they have penalized major brands in the same situation. Matt Cutts, the webspam team, and the rest of the Google team, you are sending the right message by penalizing Chrome. By imposing the penalty, Google is clearly communicating that outsourcing marketing is not an excuse for webspam.

[Sources Include: SEO Book & Matt Cutts]

What Is Google Safe Browsing In Chrome?

Google Safe Browsing is a service that allows developers and browsers to check if a URL contains malware or phishing content. The service relies on a list of URLs that are regularly updated based on data collected from users.

The list of browsers that rely on the Google Safe Browsing service includes Chrome, Safari, Vivaldi, Firefox, and GNOME Web. As you can see, Google Chrome is not the only browser using the service.

How Does Google Safe Browsing Work?

To use Safe Browsing, Chrome saves a series of mandatory cookies on your machine. Every time you visit a website, Save Browsing compares that URL against the list of URLs from its database. If any matches are found, you’ll get an alert. The type of alert you receive depends on the threat detected: malware, potentially unsafe scripts, phishing scripts, and other threats.

How to Enable Safe Browsing in Chrome

On Android and iOS

Launch Chrome and tap More (the three dots).

Then select Settings → Privacy and security.

Tap Safe Browsing and enable the option.

On PC

Then go to Settings.

Select Privacy and security, and then Security.

After that, select the Safe Browsing protection level you want to use.

Refresh the browser to apply the changes.

There are three protection levels available. Each level brings its own specific security features. Of course, if you don’t want to take any risks, enable Enhanced Protection.

Safe Browsing Enhanced Protection

This level offers proactive protection against malicious websites. In other words, Chrome will nip threats in the bud. Or as Google says:

Predicts and warns you about dangerous events before they happen.

You’ll receive alerts about potentially unsafe webpages, download files, and extensions. You’ll also get alerts about password breaches.

If you enable this option, keep in mind that Chrome will send your browsing data to Google. As Google explains:

If you want to learn more about Enhanced Safe Browsing Protection in Chrome, check out this blog post from Google.

Safe Browsing Standard Protection

URLs are analyzed and compared against the most recent copy of the Safe Browsing list stored locally on your system. So, there’s no direct connection to Safe Browsing’s servers for now. But if a website is trying to inject malware into your computer or steal your credentials, Chrome will send that URL to Safe Browsing’s servers.

You can enable a series of additional options, including alerts about password breaches.

No Protection

By checking this option, you basically turn off Safe Browsing. Your computer won’t be protected against malicious websites. And Chrome won’t alert you about any cyber-threats.

We don’t recommend disabling Safe Browsing. If you’re worried about your browsing data being sent to Google, you can enable Standard Protection.

Safe Browsing Lookup API

Google also maintains the Safe Browsing Lookup API. Developers can use this security protocol to check URLs against Google’s lists of unsafe webpages. If an URL has been flagged as a phishing and deceptive website or as a webpage hosting malware, the API will return an Unsafe result.

Many users expressed their privacy concerns in regards to the Lookup API. This is because the protocol does not hash the URLs to be analyzed. As a result, the server knows what URLs API users have analyzed.

Safe Browsing Update API

Furthermore, when Chrome sends a verification request to Google, it sends only the first 32 bits of an SHA-256 hash of that URL. Google cannot determine the complete URL based only on a partial URL fingerprint.

If you want to learn more about the Safe Browsing API, check out this support page from Google Developers.

⇒ Fun Facts:

Did you know that Google updates the Safe Browsing list every 30 minutes?

Google Safe Browsing protects over four billion devices every single day. Thanks, Google!

Google Chrome Content Settings: A Full Guide

Then there are sites that create cookies to store and track your personal information. Of course, you can disable cookies entirely, but that makes it difficult to use web services like email or e-commerce.

Table of Contents

Wouldn’t it be great if you could customize these options site-by-site? Turns out, in Google Chrome, you can. Here’s how.

What Is Content Settings and Why Is It Important?

Content settings – or site settings as it is now called – allow users to modify site permissions for several activities. This includes cookies, pop-ups, Javascript, and background sync, along with things like location, camera, and microphone access.

Accessing Content Settings in Google Chrome

Accessing content settings is easy. In the earlier version of Chrome, you had to navigate to chrome://settings/content, which was hard to remember. Now you can find it in your regular Google Chrome Settings.

Now on the Settings page, select the Privacy and security tab.

There are a handful of options, including Site Settings. Select it to bring up all the content settings in Chrome.

You can see the current permission alongside the entries. Most are set to “Site can ask to-”, which asks the user for permission for every site. Very few are automatically granted, like JavaScript. You can select the setting to bring up the option to disable JavaScript if you want. A better idea is to add particular websites you wish to block (or enable).

Some settings have more options. Selecting Cookies, for example, allows you to customize the behavior of third-party cookies both in normal browsing and incognito mode.

8 Additional Permissions

If you are just looking to shut down annoying notifications from particular websites, the best way is to add them to the respective Not allowed list. This disables the permission for that specific web page, even if the setting itself is set to automatically allow it.

And that’s all there is to it. You can customize site permissions for any of the settings outlined in the list, from all sites to customized settings for individual sites. The changes will be saved to your Google account, letting you access the same profile on any PC you log into.

Change Content Settings From the Omnibar

You don’t have to head to Google Chrome’s settings every time you want to change the content settings. The omnibar – basically the bar containing the address field – allows you to modify these settings much more conveniently.

This brings up the same Content Settings interface as earlier, but specific to the current website. You can now adjust the permissions for any of the fields easily.

Keep in mind that this method works on a site-by-site basis, so if you are looking to make wide, sweeping changes across the board, using Google Chrome’s settings is your best bet.

But if you want to restrict permissions for an annoying site (or make an exception for them) this is the way to go.

Which Content Settings Are Worth Modifying?

The problem with content settings is that there are too many of them. For a casual user, it can be tricky figuring out which options to fiddle with and which to leave at their default. Here is a short overview of some settings worth modifying.

Pop-ups

By default, Google Chrome will ask you for permission before displaying pop-ups. Since there aren’t many use cases where you would want to see one, you might as well disable them entirely. You can temporarily enable pop-ups for special situations on some trusted sites. 

Sound

Usually, you want sites to be able to play audio. But when you are browsing the web for information, it can be irritating to have some sound suddenly blasting out of your speakers, especially if you are at your workplace. This is why it is often a good idea to disable sound permissions from Content Settings. Though if you forget what you did, you might end up thinking sound is not working on Google Chrome. To get around this, you can add exceptions for useful websites like YouTube.

Ads Background Sync

Not many users know this, but just like apps can run in the background of your computer, some sites keep running in the background of your browser. This is designed to give you a more responsive internet experience.

For example, social media sites can notify you as soon as you receive a new message, by syncing with the web server at all times. While not harmful on its own, it can lead to excessive resource utilization, even draining battery life on laptops.

Should You Modify Google Chrome Content Settings?

The rest are essential features too inconvenient to shut down, like JavaScript and cookies. For these, it is more efficient to create exceptions for the websites you are concerned with, letting other web pages load normally.

Top 10 Useful Google Chrome Flags – Webnots

We all know how great Chrome browser is. It’s the most popular as well as the widely used browser all over the world. Apart from its customizability and speed it also has many cool experimental flag features. A very few people out there know about them. In this article, we are going to learn more about best tweaks and tips which you can do with cool experimental flag features.

Remember Google says, these are experimental and should be used for experiments only. There can be privacy concerns and data loss. Use them at your own risk.

How to Open Chrome Flags Section?

First of all, let’s see how to access these features in Google Chrome.

Open the Chrome browser and in the new tab, type command URL ‘chrome://flags’ in the address bar.

Now, hit the ‘Enter’ key to open Chrome flags page.

You will see a warning message like below indicating the features may affect the usage.

Chrome Flags Warning

10 Hidden Flags Features for Google Chrome Users

Show credit card last usage in forms

Enabling HDR

Stop the websites from high jacking navigations

Automatically generating passwords

Reduce microphone echo in web chat

Enabling pip (picture in picture) mode

Show title in search bar

Audio muting from the tab

Automatic password saving

Automatic tab discarding

1. Show Credit Card Last Usage in Forms

Well, we don’t actually recommend to save the credit card information in your browser. But. if you are willing to see when your credit card was last used while doing payment, you can see this in the autofill forms.

Search for ‘#enable-autofill-credit-card-last-used-date-display’.

From the drop-down option, select ‘Enable’ option. Relaunch the Chrome.

Credit Card Info Flag

This option can actually help if your credit card was used by someone else or not.

2. Enabling HDR

HDR makes your screen colours richer. It increases the different parts of the screen with contrast which makes the screen looks amazing. To enable this:

Search for ‘#enable-hdr’ feature on the ‘Chrome://flags’ page.

From the drop-down list of options, select the ‘Enable’ option.

Enabling HDR

Well, there is a condition for this feature, you must have an HDR display also.

3. Stop the Websites from High-jacking Navigations

Some website often highjacks your navigations like going forward or going backwards. Well, these sites abuse the history features in your browser. They keep on writing fake entries that keeps you on their website.

History Entries Features

Through this, the website won’t be able to add more entries to your history.

Related: How to fix Chrome slow loading webpages?

4. Automatically Generating Passwords

Chrome is so smart that by enabling one feature it can generate automatic passwords for you. Log-in with your Google account in Chrome. It will sync these passwords with your account.

In the flag features, search for the ‘#enable-password-generation’.

Enable it and relaunch the Chrome to see the changes.

Enabling Automatic Passwords Generation

5. Reduce Microphone Echo in Web Chat

If you are daily voice chatting person through Chrome browser then your microphone may have some echo issues. To fix this:

Search for ‘#WebRtcUseEchoCanceller3’ in your Chrome://flags page.

Enable it from the options given and relaunch the Chrome to see changes.

Reducing Echo In Web Chat

This will reduce the echo or we can say noise and help you in better hearing.

6. Enabling PIP (Picture in Picture) Mode

This is a great feature in Chrome it allows you to enable picture in picture mode for videos. Now, this feature might not work on some PCs so, don’t expect the good results.

Search for ‘#enable-picture-in-picture’ and enable it from the ‘Chrome://flags’.

Relaunch the Chrome.

7. Show Title in Search Bar

This feature brings up a clearer image while searching for the content or website. It shows the titles of the web page or website when you are trying to search for it.

Search for ‘#omnibox-display-title-for-current-URL’ in the ‘Chrome://flags’ page.

Enable it and relaunch the Chrome to view changes.

Display Title In The URL

8. Audio Muting from The Tab

When you’re playing an audio/video in Chrome, it displays a small speaker icon on the top of the tab. But, it does not work to pause the audio. If you want to mute the audio then follow the steps given below.

Go to the Chrome://flags page and search for ‘#enable-tab-audio-muting’.

Enable it and relaunch the Chrome.

9. Automatic Password Saving

You may or may not be liking this feature, it’s your choice. If you are a person who forgets passwords easily then this feature in Chrome is your friend.

Search for ‘#PasswordForceSaving’ and enable it.

Relaunch the Chrome to view changes.

Try filling up and form and you will not get any prompt for saving it because it will save the password automatically.

10. Automatic Tab Discarding

If you are running a low on memory PC, then this feature will be very helpful. It will discard the unused tabs when the system is running on low memory.

Wrapping Up

Google Chrome has may hidden flags that you can try to enhance your browsing experience. However, these are experimental flag and Google warns not to use on stable version especially when you use the same browser for financial transactions. So, try them on Chrome Canary or other versions which you can run in parallel to the stable version.

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