In a wild world where consumers of content and users of mobile apps are at peril from greedy companies looking to exploit their screen space, there is one protector standing up for them. Google has consistently used its mighty pull in the world to create the best user experience possible on mobile. Its “mobile friendly algorithm” penalizes apps and websites that aren’t friendly to mobile users, and as of yesterday its penalty for interstitial apps is live.
What is an interstitial?
When you are trying to use an application or view a website, and a giant ad gets in the way that tells you to click on it for some reason or another that makes money for the website, you have fallen victim to an interstitial. They aren’t any fun, are incredibly annoying, and really make for a bad experience – especially when it takes forever to load and click away.
What is the update?
We’ve been aware that Google was going to lay the hammer down on interstitials for a while, but the update hadn’t gone live until November 2nd. Now, any application using giant interstitials will be penalized in the Google algorithm. According to the mighty search engine giant:
“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”
Mobile is all about user experience, and in a world where everyone is a spoiled consumer who can have access to whatever they want, wherever they want, whenever they want it, you need to make sure that they are happy when they view your content. A huge ad getting in the way won’t help you.
What to do instead?
Instead of having an ad that gets in their view of the content, makes them angry, and makes them think about clicking the back button, Google recommends that you use a banner ad that is less invasive. Perhaps you could use more content marketing! Whatever you do, avoid interstitials.
This certainly isn’t an update that rivals “mobilegeddon.” There have yet to be any complaints because of it, though we are sure they are on their way. What it does show is that search engines are continually dedicating themselves to helping provide the best user experience possible. This means you need to continue to put yourself last and everyone else first. When you stop trying to earn money, and instead focus on providing a great product and experience, good things happen.