Something to look forward to: We all know what the back button on a browser does, but you’ve probably encountered websites where it doesn’t function as it should. Rather than going to the last page you visited, the site, usually one of dubious nature, prevents you from leaving. It’s very frustrating, but Google’s Chrome team is working on a solution.
Google calls this tactic of artificially injecting web pages into your browser ‘history manipulation,’ which is often used as a way of generating money through hidden ads. You can escape by holding down the back button and accessing your history, or sometimes by hitting it repeatedly, but it’s still an irritation.
Changes spotted in Chromium’s source code show that Google plans to silently flag these pages, and Chrome will send metrics about them to the company for analysis. Any pages suspected of history manipulation get tagged with the flag: #enable-skip-redirecting-entries-on-back-forward-ui.
Once these pages are identified, Chrome will be able to skip them in the browser’s back/forward list.
“Entries that are added to the back/forward list without the user’s intention are marked to be skipped on subsequent back button invocations,” reads part of the code.
It will be a few weeks before the update makes it into even the beta builds of Chrome, though it should be available in Chrome Canary, which adds the latest experimental features as they arrive, a lot sooner.
Google has yet to release any announcements about the future update, but you can guarantee it’ll make people aware of the change once it arrives.