Days ago, Google reportedly rolled out an update to its mobile algorithm, adding a new penalty for mobile sites that have large app interstitial ads.
This algorithm update, which Google first alluded to back in the beginning of September, officially went live on November 2nd. Google announced the update on its social media profiles, explaining:
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.
4 Important Things to Know about this New Mobile Penalty
- Type of interstitials that can face penalties – Not all interstitial ads (or even all interstitial ads for apps) will be impacted by this new penalty. Only those that are large enough to eclipse the content that users are looking for – and those that pop up between search engine results pages (SEPRs) and the mobile site – may be subject to penalties.
- Purpose of this penalty – According to Google, one of the primary aims of rolling out this new mobile penalty is to continue improving the user experience. As Google has noted, it is hoping that this algorithm update will “make it easier for searchers to see the content of the pages they are looking for.”
- What Google recommends – To avoid having your mobile site be hit with a penalty, Google is encouraging a transition from the large interstitial app ads that cover entire pages of mobile sites to smaller banners (like those that only appear at the tops or bottoms of pages). This would allow users to see both the content on the page of a mobile site and the app ad.
- The penalties – Mobile sites that continue to use large app interstitial ads may be hit with a penalty in the form of significantly dropped rankings over the course of the next few weeks (or possibly months). Although there have not been many reports as of yet regarding how dramatic these penalties are, taking action as soon as one (or another Google penalty) is imposed can be the key to an efficient recovery while minimal negative impacts.
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