As part of efforts to promote mobile-friendly sites in search results, Google will start demoting search results for websites showing interstital adverts for their mobile app.
The search engine will start downgrade from November 1, 2015.
Under a new policy, Google will penalized websites that show a whole-page advert to mobile visitors for an app before they can use the site itself. The search ranking of such website will be lowered.
However, websites that show an app install banner across the top of the page will remain in a safe position. The new policy marks these site as mobile-friendly.
Why is Google doing this? The company said that showing a full-page advert is “not a good search experience” for users.
“Sometimes a user may tap on a search result on a mobile device and see an app install interstitial that hides a significant amount of content and prompts the user to install an app,” Daniel Bathgate, a software engineer for Google Search, writes in a blog post.
“Our analysis shows that it is not a good search experience and can be frustrating for users because they are expecting to see the content of the web page.”
The important thing to note is that this new policy applies only to mobile devices. The downgrading will disturb searches made by mobile devices.
“After November 1, mobile web pages that show an app install interstitial that hides a significant amount of content on the transition from the search result page will no longer be considered mobile-friendly. This does not affect other types of interstitials. As an alternative to app install interstitials, browsers provide ways to promote an app that are more user-friendly,” Google said in a blog post.