Google has started penalising apps and mobile pages for displaying giant app install interstitials ads to users. The company had updated its Mobile-Friendly Test to indicate websites should avoid showing such ads in September.
At the time, the company said it would impose this policy starting November, decreasing the search ranking of websites not adhering to this policy. However, the change in policy only affects app install interstitial, and not other types of interstitials, which means users will still have to put up with full content blocking interstitials in other categories. As an alternative to app install interstitials, developers are instead encouraged to use app install banners.
MediaNama’s Take: This move will discourage the use of annoying content-blocking, full page ‘please install our app’ type interstitials which should make browsing on mobile a happier experience. We only wish Google completely discouraged the use all full page interstitials which block users from viewing content and instead encouraged the use of non intrusive ads or banners.
Accelerated Mobile Pages: Last month, Google launched a new program called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), which supposedly speeds up load times by plugging a piece of Google code into publishers’ websites. The search giant claims that its tools cut down load time by 15-85% in initial tests. At the time, 38 publishers joined the AMP project which includes BuzzFeed, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Financial Times, Vox Media and the Daily Mail.
It’s also worth noting that in June, Google rolled out a new feature in India to speed up web pages. Websites on mobile Chrome would get a ‘Network Quality Estimator’ (NQE), which will analyse the user’s network connection in order to optimise search results and subsequent landing web pages to load faster, giving higher priority to text and information over data-intensive images. The NQE would, in effect, change the rendering of web pages on a slow connection in order to make the web pages usable and fast.
End of GOSF: Earlier this month, Google announced the shut down its Great Online Shopping Festival in India (GOSF). The company had started GOSF in 2012 as the Cyber Monday for India to encourage more Indians to shop online by offering them the best of deals across portals.