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Google Punishes Mobile Sites That Use Pop-Up Mobile Ads

Google is making it easier for you to view the information you need. Starting November 1st, Google will start downranking mobile websites that use “interstitial” or pop-up mobile ads prompting you to install an app.


Starting today, you can see if your website will have its mobile rankings negatively impacted by usingGoogle’s Mobile-Friendly Test. You can also test your mobile website using Google’s Mobile Usability report in its Search Console. This will give you plenty of time between now and November 1st to check if your mobile website is in compliance with Google’s policies.

As an alternative to mobile interstitial ads, Google is encouraging that you use Safari’s Smart Banners andChrome’s Native App Install Banners. The reasoning for using Smart Banners and Native App Install Banners (which have been around for a while now) is they allow for a more consistent user experience and give visitors more control over their mobile web browsing experience.

Additionally, blocking interstitial ads should help you with your visitors. In a case study conducted by Google in July, Google discovered that its own interstitial ads for Google+ caused 69 percent of users to abandon the site entirely. Only 9 percent of users tapped the “get app” button, but it is doubtful all of them actually proceeded to install the app. Contrast this with the banner approach, which saw mobile website usage increase by 17% with app installs taking a slight dip.

At the end of the day, it is a move that helps users stay on your site. And your users’ experience is what you should care about most, not pushing an app that covers up the content they need.

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