Chrome will show clearer warnings on pages with mobile subscriptions

By | 8th November 2018
google chrome

Paying for subscriptions online can sometimes be a foggy experience. How much does it actually cost? When will you get billed? How far can you go through the process before you’re signed up? Some webpages make this process unclear and Google wants to do something about it. Google Chrome will soon make the process more transparent.

Google shows the example below as an unclear mobile subscription. All it asks you to do is enter your phone number and press continue. You don’t know how much it costs or even that it costs anything. Chrome will soon have clearer billing information and notify users when they may be charged. The second image below shows the new warning page that will appear in Chrome.

To go along with this, Google has some suggestions for mobile billing best practices. The page should answer positively to the following questions:

  • Is the billing information visible and obvious to users? For example, adding no subscription information on the subscription page or hiding the information is a bad start because users should have access to the information when agreeing to subscribe.
  • Can customers easily see the costs they’re going to incur before accepting the terms? For example, displaying the billing information in grey characters over a grey background, therefore making it less readable, is not considered a good user practice.
  • Is the fee structure easily understandable? For example, the formula presented to explain how the cost of the service will be determined should be as simple and straightforward as possible.

The new warning pages will go into effect starting in December with Chrome 71. The warning will show up in all version of Chrome, including desktop, mobile, and Android WebView. Webmasters can send an appeal (after making changed) through the Search Console to get the warning removed from their page.