The Process of Creating Chrome Extensions and Plugging in the Search

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Written by Daniel Volkov

The Process of Creating Chrome Extensions and Plugging in the Search

You are here because you heard how easy it is to make a Chrome Extension with some value for the user and how even easier it is to plug search monetization and get started with generating revenue.

Since our inception, we have been working on developing browser extensions (Chrome Extensions, Edge extensions, Firefox addons), and we have learned how to monetize them easily. Later on, we specialized in helping developers do the same with their extensions. I will walk you through the whole process of creating a Chrome extension, plugging the search feed, and placing your extension in the Chrome store. Later on – comes the monetization. Additionally, I’ll provide some resources to help you learn about the policies and rules of Chrome Store. When you finish this blog, make sure you check out this one, where you may learn about positioning your extension in the store and making it easier for users to find it.

What is a Chrome Extension?

A Chrome extension is a small piece of software designed to enhance the functionalities of your Chrome browser. It seeks to augment your online browsing experience by enhancing the browser’s features or modifying its operations.

Chrome Extensions can interact with websites and change the look and feel of the browser. In addition, they can offer extra tools and features like converters, ad blockers, translators, password managers, and other productivity tools. You may browse, download, and manage extensions through the Chrome Web Store from within the Chrome browser. The same applies to other browsers – they all have their extension stores.

How to Decide What Kind of Chrome Extension To Create

If you are stuck and don’t know where to start – here are a few questions you should ask yourself:

What is a problem your product may solve? Research about difficulties users have and consider how a Chrome extension could be able to solve these problems or simplify some everyday tasks or processes.

What markets would you be focused on? Determine the popularity of certain extensions by examining their features in the Chrome Web Store. Check out the market need for these extensions and see if you have a solution to enhance the existing features of the extensions you’ve found.

Who is your audience? Everything is clear about this question – Who do you want to reach? You may adapt your extension to your audiences’ demands and increase its appeal by being aware of your users’ preferences, habits, and difficulties.

What are you passionate about? A great way to start is to ask this question because when you have knowledge about something and if you are genuinely interested in something, you will have an idea and a starting point. This will improve your chances of success and make the development process more fun.

What resources do I have to develop this Chrome Extension? Consider the extension’s technical difficulty and whether you have the resources and expertise to build it. If not, think about collaborating with people who have abilities to create extensions or have some experience with them so they can guide you.

What is the potential for monetization? If you want to make money from your extension, research what options you have to monetize this extension. Advertising, premium features, and partnerships (such as search monetization) are a few common ways to generate revenue. You can read more about search feed monetization here.

Do you have a unique value proposition? To differentiate your extension from the competition, make sure it provides something unique and distinguished from existing products. This might be a brand-new function, a better user interface, a faster product, etc.

What Are the Core Technologies to Use for Creating a Chrome Extension?

How do you start with this? First, let’s assume you know HTML, CSS, and JS – But IF you are a beginner, you need to learn the core technologies. To develop a Chrome extension, it’s essential to have a solid understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript as they form the extension – basically, it’s a must.

I will continue like you know these languages so that the first phase would be developing the extension.

Install a Code Editor and Start Coding

You can choose any Code Editor you prefer, such as Visual Code Studio or something similar, and familiarize yourself with the components an extension is made. Chrome has these simple guidelines, check them out. So, there are five things to focus on:

  • Manifest File
  • Background Scripts
  • Content Scripts
  • A popup
  • Promotional Content (this of course requires no coding)
elements of a chrome extension within a zip file

Manifest File

There are a few things that are mandatory for this file: The name, version, and necessary permissions of your extension are all included in this file’s crucial metadata. Manifest V3 is the latest version approved by Chrome, so ensure you are up to date with Google’s requirements and policies.

Simply put, the manifest, a JSON-formatted file with the name “manifest.json,” gives the Chrome browser crucial details about the extension. Besides the name, description, version number, and permissions needed for the extension are all included in this data, the extension’s requirements for background scripts, content scripts, icons, and other resources are also listed.

Background Scripts

Background Scripts hold the backbone of the extension, and here is where the logic resides. They can manage numerous event-driven behaviors in response to specific browser activities or user interactions, as well as long-running scripts.

The two categories of background pages are persistent and event pages. While event pages are more effective since they load when necessary and unload when not in use, persistent background pages are constantly in use. With the introduction of Manifest V3, Chrome switched from background page models to service worker, greatly enhancing the functionality and effectiveness of Chrome extensions.

Content Scripts

Content scripts basically help you modify the content or the behavior of the site. You can read and alter the DOM of web pages using content scripts. These scripts operate in a different environment from the website’s JavaScript execution context, but you nevertheless have access to a webpage’s DOM just like conventional scripts injected into the page.

Content scripts can, as a result, change web pages without affecting the scripts or variables of the page. This goes both ways. Content scripts can be configured to run at many points during page loading (e.g., “document_start”, “document_end”, or “document_idle”) and gives you control over when they run. You can choose which websites you want to connect with using match patterns while creating content scripts, which are stated in the extension’s manifest.json file.

A Popup

This would be an optional thing, and it should appear when the user clicks on your extension’s icon in the browser toolbar and the code should look something like this:

an example of how a popup should look like

Promotional Content

These are your extension icon, screenshots, and promo images. You must use pictures properly when submitting your Chrome extension to the Chrome Web Store. Images reflect your extension visually; therefore, they should be appealing and appropriately represent its functionality.

Each image needed by the Chrome Web Store must have a specific size. These consist of little icons for the Chrome toolbar and settings, a big symbol for the store, advertising pictures for your extension, and screenshots of your extension in use. It’s crucial to make sure these photos are crisp, expert, and captivating because they can have a big impact on how visible and popular your extension is in the Chrome Web Store. There are guidelines on the sizes, so make sure you check your developer dashboard guidelines.

Yes, you need to follow certain steps, and luckily they have been described in detail along with some other useful information. There is a ton of content online on how to create a chrome extension. Here is one cool tutorial for beginners if you are new at this:

Chrome has everything enlisted as for the details of the file and what to do and what not to do. Make sure you check out their guidelines.

Would you like to know what the best practices for your visual appearance in the Chrome Store? Let us know and we will write our guidelines on how to create the perfect image and get the right audience organically to your product.

Before You Start Monetizing Your Chrome Extension

Before you start monetizing your Chrome Extension you need to get some users. There are several ways to do it:

  • Organically
  • Paid promotion
  • Media Buying Agency

Organic users

You might have heard the term “organic user acquisition” – and that means that you would be gaining new users overtime by emphasizing the value of your product and the general exposure of your Chrome extension. In most cases, this means utilizing SEO tactics, producing interesting content, providing distinctive features, and upholding a high standard of user experience.

Referrals from delighted users are one of the most successful organic marketing techniques. You could relate to this because, for example, before you start using a product, you go through the review section right? Ask your users to give you a nice review or a suggestion for improvement. Next, you can increase your user base organically by being active on social media sites, participating in forums, and routinely updating your extension to improve performance. Organic growth, however, usually takes more time and patience even if it is more affordable.

chrome store search - works like a search engine

Focus on your ASO (App Store Optimization), which is basically like SEO, but for the app field. Emphasizing your key elements and keywords is going to attract your potential users since the search within the Chrome Store functions as a search engine.

Paid Promotion

You could do paid promotion yourself. Paid promotion means making an investment in advertising to raise awareness of your Chrome extension and draw in more users. This can entail implementing pay-per-click marketing strategies on Google, META, Bing, and some other PPC networks, or you can do display advertising on some websites etc.

The capacity to immediately reach a wider, more targeted audience is the main benefit of paid promotion. It’s essential to regularly monitor your advertising, though, to make sure that the value these users add doesn’t outweigh the cost of acquisition.

example of an ad on bing for a chrome extension

Media Buying Agency

Collaborating with a media buying agency is another efficient user acquisition tactic. These companies focus on acquiring and controlling advertising space across numerous platforms. They possess the know-how to bargain costs, choose the most effective ad platforms, and optimize these campaigns for the best ROI.

As experts, they usually have access to premium ad spaces available, and can take advantage of their connections to publishers to negotiate higher terms. The possibility of high-quality, tailored exposure can make engaging a media buying firm a worthwhile investment, despite the initial fees.

This is one of the quickest ways to get users and why do I know this? Because we do it. Coinis has been in this search game for more than 9 years. As extension owners ourselves, we have the knowledge on acquiring and monetizing users. Contact us if you already created a product and don’t know where to start as for acquiring users.

And now, the monetization aspect.

Search Monetization for Chrome Extensions – How To Start

Search monetization is a potent strategy for generating income from your Chrome Extension, mobile app etc. It basically means that you would be generating income with your users’ regular search behaviors. Every user’s search activity can generate income by using a search engine like Yahoo or Bing.

For instance, sponsored adverts from the search engine appear alongside the organic search results when users conduct searches. This occurs by using the custom search engine built inside your product. These sponsored advertisements produce revenues with each click, ensuring a consistent flow of income.

However, user experience should never be sacrificed for a profitable search monetization approach. For visitors to stick around and promote frequent usage your extension, the integrated search engine should deliver pertinent and excellent results. Additionally, it’s crucial to protect user privacy and adhere to all rules and regulations pertaining to data processing.

To obtain the optimum income split, these providers bargain with search engines like Yahoo or Bing. To help you integrate the search feed into your platform and maximize your earnings, they also provide tools and information. It’s critical to pick a dependable provider who provides transparency, excellent customer service, and fair income splits.

To wrap it up, search monetization is a successful strategy for making money off of your chrome extension. This goes for any digital product that is able to have a search. However, your monetization approach should always put your user experience first. We have a whole blog about Search Monetization and all details about this topic. Make sure you check it out. And of course, we can help with search, this is our expertise. We’ve got the good stuff.

How to Integrate Search within your Chrome Extension

Integrating search within your Chrome extension can enhance its functionality and potentially provide a source of revenue. Chrome extensions support search overrides, which allow you to modify Chrome settings, including the default search provider. By specifying a new search provider in the extension’s manifest.json file, you can customize search functionality and potentially earn revenue through monetized searches.

To implement search overrides, you must first verify your domain through the Google Search Console. Verification must be completed using your developer account, which will be publishing the extension. Once you have verified ownership of your domain, you are allowed to use any subdomain or page within your extension.

It’s important to ensure that your extension has a clear purpose and functionality.

The Manifest

The manifest file, which is a JSON file that describes your extension, can include “chrome_settings_overrides” to specify settings that the extension should override. This attribute contains properties such as “homepage,” “search_provider,” and “startup_pages.”

The “search_provider” property is complex and includes optional and mandatory attributes, including “name,” “keyword,” “search_url,” “is_default,” and others. Localize these properties using the chrome.i18n API, and parametrize URL values using a registry key.


example how to do search override in a chrome extension

However, it’s essential to note that changing a user’s default search engine requires their explicit consent. Any attempt to override this setting without the user’s permission is not something that goes with Google Chrome’s policy. Therefore, while search overrides can be lucrative, they must be used responsibly, respecting user preferences and choices. Google’s policies on search overrides provide more information on what is and isn’t allowed.

In conclusion, integrating search within your Chrome extension can enhance its functionality and potentially provide a source of revenue. However, it’s essential to follow Google’s policies and use search overrides responsibly to ensure a positive user experience. You can read more about Google’s policies on search override here.

How to Start Monetizing

Begin your journey with us by registering through the button below. Upon registration, our dedicated team of Account Managers will promptly reach out to guide you through the next steps. First comes the review and verification process of your extension to see if it is ready to go. Once approved, we can move on and find the best ways to monetize your product.

The opportunity to enhance your revenue stream awaits. Request your feed today and let’s embark on this lucrative journey together.

Daniel Volkov

Daniel Volkov


Daniel is a specialist in search feed monetisation and extension distribution. If you have an extension you would like to monetize he is your guy. Did we mention he loves Brom?

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