Back in September Google announced that from November it would be penalising mobile sites running large interstitial ads that promote apps.
True to its word Google has now rolled out this update to the mobile-friendly algorithm. This was announced on Google +.
“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.”
In our previous story about this we showed the restaurant guide website Zomato.com as an example of a website using large interstial ads promoting their app. Below is what was shown when you clicked through to the Zomato result in a Google search for restaurant guide auckland.
Looks like Zomato has taken Google’s warning onboard and replaced the interstitial with a banner at the bottom of the page to promote their app, as shown below:
Why should you care?
If your website shows large interstitial ads to promote your app you need to immediately change it. Don’t and your site will lose its “mobile friendly” tag and rank lower in Google’s mobile search results, with less visitors finding and coming to your website.
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Mark is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire which he founded back in 2002. Prior to establishing SureFire he worked for KPMG Consulting. Today Mark heads up SEO, embracing the challenges that can come with complex website implementations. Outside of work, his interests beyond his family are running, snowsports, diving and fishing (badly).