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(Credit: Google)

You're browsing the Web and land at a page you don't want. You press your browser's Back button assuming it will return you to the previous page. But instead, the existing page stubbornly remains on the screen or, even worse, displays an unwanted ad or other annoying content. Now, Google appears to have a solution on the way to deal with such sneaky behavior.

SEE: Make Your Browser Work for You with the Best Chrome Extensions

Developers of Chrome are currently working on a method to automatically skip pages that try to manipulate your browser history when you click the Back button. A series of pages found in Chromium Gerrit, a code collaboration tool for software developers, describe the feature for an upcoming release of Chrome, as spotted by the folks at 9to5Google.

One page shows a discussion among developers on how "entries that are added to the back/forward list without the user's intention are marked to be skipped on subsequent back button invocations." Another page contains links to the code that would be added to Chrome to perform this feat. A third page notes how metrics sent to Google could help distinguish legitimate entries from those that try to manipulate the Back button.

Devious websites have presented a growing problem for all of us who surf the Web. Beyond the frustration of getting lost or confused at such sites, users are sometimes tricked into viewing unwanted ads, downloading malware and revealing personal information. As a major player on the Web, Google has been on a tear trying to crack down on such manipulative websites.

The effort to fight history manipulation has been on the Chrome team's radar for at least the past couple of years. In a thread on GitHub from 2016, a member of the team explained the problem by commenting that "the history gets stuffed with multiple dummy entries that fast-forward the user back to the page they wanted to leave." The team member added that this behavior could be resolved by changing the rules on how an entry gets added to the browser's history.

"This is part of our ongoing work to stop navigation hijacking," a Google spokesperson told Download.com. "Nothing specific to share now, but will keep you updated accordingly."

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Takeaways

  1. Google Chrome developers are working on a way to combat pages that try to manipulate your browser history when you click on the Back button.
  2. As discussed online, the feature appears headed toward an upcoming release of Chrome.

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Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books - "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time" and "Teach Yourself VISUALLY LinkedIn."