Google Is Penalizing Mobile Interstitials Ads
Mobile interstitials have long been seen by people as being highly obtrusive when it comes to doing things online on mobile devices. These ads cover the interface of a program or website. This is essentially done to garner the user’s attention but at the same time it can be rather bothersome for many people to read on any kind of mobile device.
Google is taking a step to review such mobile interstitials. The prominent search engine has started issuing penalties on sites that have them. This penalty was introduced on January 10 and had been previewed nearly half a year earlier. This was especially designed to improve upon how well people can read websites without having added content getting in the way and making those sites harder to read.
Who Is Hurt By the Penalty?
The new mobile interstitial penalty will impact sites that carry such interstitials when going from a Google search result page to another specific page. It will not directly impact interstitials that occur later on in the site. Therefore, site developers will have to time their interstitials properly so there is a better sense of flow from one page to the next.
This is similar to how other sites that make content hard to read are often penalized. By using this system, it will be harder for content to be made available and useful in any manner.
What Interstitials Are Bad?
There are various types of mobile interstitials that will be penalized by Google:
- Popups that cover the main body of content will be penalized. These include ones that come about right after getting through a search results page or while that person is reading the page.
- Interstitials that stand alone from the rest of the content are also problematic. These typically require the user to close the content before actually getting to the site’s main content.
- Layouts must also be reviewed. A layout where the above-the-fold part looks similar to an interstitial but the main content is under the fold will be penalized.
Such interstitials can include ones that ask people to submit their email address for added information on a site among other topics. These are interstitials that developers will have to be much more conscious with and careful about as time goes along and Google targets different groups.
What Interstitials Are Okay?
Not all interstitials used on a website will actually be penalized by Google. The following types will not be harmed:
- Interstitials that alert people to how cookies will be used are exempt. This is to inform the user that cookies will be used on a site for tracking and analysis purposes.
- Age verification interstitials will not be penalized. These are typically designed for use on sites where the content is restricted to only people within a certain age group.
- Banners that are rather easy to clear off are not going to hurt a site. Banners for Chrome and Safari users are good examples of this as these often relate to adjusting one’s overall experience when using a certain site.
People will still have to watch carefully for what they are doing with their interstitials. This is where the next section of this review will come into play.
What Can Developers Do?
This change in how Google reviews mobile sites is something that will directly impact how many websites are ranked. While there are no known reports of people being hurt by this change in how Google works, it is important for people to watch for how it may be used.
There are a few things that people can do to reduce the likelihood of them possibly being in trouble:
- Interstitials may be moved to different places. Such interstitials that occur in between parts of a site or ones that occur when leaving a site altogether will not be penalized.
- The sizes of interstitials must be reviewed. They should be shrunk down in size to where they are not going to take up a significant amount of space. By shrinking them down to manageable bits, it will be easier for people to get on a site without being bothered by something that is far too big or is covering up a site in general.
- The mobile-friendly nature of content is always important. The first page that comes after searching for something should be organized in a clean manner with no risk of pop-ups showing up or anything distracting the user. This is to create a better look on the site that is more appealing for use and doesn’t confuse the reader in any manner.
- Common sense may especially prevail when getting a site developed. Producers will have to watch for the meanings that their pop-ups have so they can determine if they are actually needed or if they should be tossed altogether.
This new move from Google will influence many things with regards to how websites are developed for mobile use. The mobile interstitial penalty from Google will require a need to check on how different pop-ups are managed and what can be done to keep them from being overly obtrusive.