Header image of Google crack down on “intrusive interstitials”

September 20, 2016 | Danielle Chatterton

Google crack down on “intrusive interstitials”

In November 2015, Google launched “app install interstitial penalty”, determining that app interstitial ads which cover a significant amount of page content, would not be considered mobile-friendly and would therefore not rank as well as mobile-friendly web pages.

On 10th January 2017, the search engine is introducing new mobile-specific ranking criteria, limiting ‘intrusive interstitials’ because, they say “this type of ad can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller”. Since 51% percent of digital media is consumed via mobile compared to 42% on desktop, this is a bid to improve user experience.

However, not all pop-ups are the same, so there are some specifics around which types of interstitials Google considers to be disruptive. Some are legally required, like those which include age verification displays, so they won’t impact the page’s rank.

According to the official statement, interstitials affected by Google’s crackdown include:

  1. Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.
  2. Displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
  3. Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.

These changes provide a great opportunity to enhance your marketing presence on mobile. For Marketers, replacing intrusive interstitials with valuable content, not only gives the user what they are searching for, improving your rank accordingly, but you’re also eliminating invasive pop-ups that, come January, would be lowering it.

This being said, although Google are limiting ‘intrusive interstitials’ they are still a highly effective ad solution and when implemented correctly they can help raise digital revenues.

PageSuite continuously promotes ways for our clients to monetise their app and digital editions. There is a growing focus on making ads more engaging to ensure enhanced user experiences. PageSuite offers a catalogue of effective advertising options which can meet your strategy and adhere to guidelines.