Lately, Google has been pushing to make sure websites are more mobile-friendly.
Earlier this year, Google updated its mobile search algorithm -- a move that quickly became known as “Mobilegeddon.” With the change, websites with large text, easy-to-click links, and pages that re-size depending on the screen they’re viewed on would get ranked higher in search results.
On Tuesday, Google announced in a blog post another update that continues in this theme. Now Google wants websites to stop using app install ads that are often full page when a user clicks from a search result to a website.
The blog post elaborates: "Sometimes a user may tap on a search result on a mobile device and see an app install interstitial that hides a significant amount of content and prompts the user to install an app. Our analysis shows that it is not a good search experience and can be frustrating for users because they are expecting to see the content of the web page."
Starting November 1, sites with pop-up ads that cover most or all of the screen will be no longer be considered mobile-friendly. And Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test has already been updated to tell site owners that ads of this nature aren’t acceptable.
For site owners who have just broken into a cold sweat, Google has some suggestions.
You can still use the full-screen interstitials, just not directly after the search result. Plan to have the pop-up come later in the browsing experience. Also, using smaller app install banners won’t get a website penalized in search results, in fact they're preferred because they "provide a consistent user interface for promoting an app and provide the user with the ability to control their browsing experience.”
So basically Google's saying what many of us have probably thought when faced with an aggressive pop-up ad, except somehow they manage to avoid cursing.