There’s nothing worse when browsing the web — or hitting a search result — and coming across a page completely obscured by a huge pop-up window asking you to install the site’s (or someone else’s) app. In fact, full-page interstitial ads in general are incredibly frustrating, when all you want to do is read the article. Thankfully, Google is doing something about it…
Those of you following Google’s search strategy over the past year or so will be aware that the company decided to start rewarding websites with a ‘mobile-friendly’ design. In other words, sites that look great on mobile and don’t just try to cram a desktop page in to a small screen on your phone. Being mobile-friendly makes a site easier to find on search, or has better SEO, to use the technical term.
Still, it’s been possible up until now to have a site deemed mobile-friendly, even if that site pushes a full-screen banner ad of some kind onscreen, completely obscuring the content. From now forward, that is no longer the case. Google announced on its webmasters page that it will no longer consider these sites mobile-friendly.
Starting today, pages with an app install interstitial that hide a significant amount of content on the transition from the search result page won’t be considered mobile-friendly.
Instead of full page interstitials, we recommend that webmasters use more user-friendly formats such as app install banners. We hope that this change will make it easier for searchers to see the content of the pages they are looking for
This will be a welcome change to pretty much anyone with an Internet connection. Sites with smart owners will realize they’re better off keeping their mobile-friendly status and remove the obnoxious full-page interstitials. Those without will see their pages dropped down the SEO ranking and receive fewer visits from Google search, annoying far fewer people in the process. All in all, it’s a win-win situation for everyone.