The Google Webmaster team has announced that, as of today, pages with obtrusive app interstitials will no longer be considered mobile-friendly. As a result, these pages will not be prominently displayed in Google’s mobile search results.
This change did not come without warning — in fact, Google has been warning webmasters about app download interstitials as far back as July.
At the beginning of September, Google took it a step further announced that pages with app download interstitials would be devalued in mobile search results at the beginning of November.
Now, with the algorithm update in place, it’s time to consider if the app download interstitials on your site are worth a potential loss of mobile traffic.
While interstitials may seem like an effective way to drive app installs, Google argues they create unnecessary friction for your mobile visitors.
Alternatively, the search giant recommends trying out some more user friendly options:
“Instead of full page interstitials, we recommend that webmasters use more user-friendly formats such as app install banners.”
As of today you should no longer be landing on pages that can’t be read due to gigantic app download banners. Sites that insist on displaying app interstitials are already losing their mobile-friendly tags, along with the accompanying rankings boost in mobile search.
Will this be enough to convince more websites to do away with the full page app banner? It’s going to be interesting to follow this over time and see how many more sites end up cooperating with Google.