Google is now pushing an aggressive Chrome marketing campaign once used to steal users from other browsers. For some, every time they boot up Firefox or Internet Explorer with Google.com as their home page they see a bar asking them to install Chrome. “Discover a faster way to browse the web” it pleads.
Sure, it will probably work on those less aware of Chrome. But those on the fence may resent the heavy-handed tactic. This was a lot more tolerable when Google was trying to pull people away from the despicable old version of Microsoft’s browser.
Seems I’m not the only one who finds these ads annoying. Similar campaigns to sway Firefox users in the past spawned extensions to remove the announcement and different Google URLs that sometimes prevent its appearance.
See Google does offer an opt-out of the ad, but its only temporary. You can click “No thanks” or the ‘x’ on the install bar to dismiss the announcement, but clearing your browser history will resurrect the drop-down. Waiting long enough might bring it back too.
Chrome recently became the most used browser in the world, overtaking Internet Explorer a few months ago and Firefox last year. It’s a great product, and it’s my primary browser. But having such a massive cross-promotion platform as Google.com sure isn’t hurting its rise to dominance.
Meanwhile, I simultaneously use Firefox to stay logged in to multiple email and social accounts at the same time. So the fact that I’m getting these ads while I’m currently running Chrome is certainly frustrating.
It’s a little sad that Google can’t just let Chrome prosper on its own merits. I wouldn’t call this digital equivalent of yelling into a megaphone outside your competitor’s store evil, but it does make Google seem desperate.