Google’s latest ranking signal; App Interstitials

01 Sep 2015
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Published in Blog
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For sometime now, Google has been hinting that app-install interstitials would become a negative ranking signal in search results. Now it's official Or at least it will be soon.

Earlier this year, Google began taking into account a site's mobile-friendliness for ranking search results on mobile devices. It provided sites with a helpful mobile-friendly test tool so that they can make sure their pages were up to snuff. If a page passed the test, it would be good as far as that particular signal is concerned.

Now, there's a new factor in mobile-friendliness that will affect previously passed test to fail now. Google announced on Tuesday that they are updating their Mobile-Friendly Test to advise sites against showing app install interstitials "that hide a significant amount of content on the transition from the search result page".

Google says its Mobile Usability report in Search Console will show webmasters the number of pages across their site that have the issue. While the mobile-friendly test tool has already been updated to take the new signal into account, Google will not actually start counting interstitials negatively until November 1, so that will give webmasters enough time to make the updates required to avoid being algorithmically penalized.

Google says: 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.

Though few have actually noticed that Google was adding app interstitials to the mobile friendly test at the end of July but the information was removed from Google Search Console shortly after the post went live. The date showing in Google Search Console was August 14th, so this change goes live a couple of weeks after it was initially discovered.

So webmasters specially need to keep an eye on the Webmaster Central forum for chatter about this as time progresses.

Read 650 times Last modified on Monday, 07 September 2015 05:57
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