Google has spoken and an all too common feature of the mobile web will never be the same again if developers and site owners follow the path sign-posted by the search giant.
App install interstitial ads – those full-screen ads that pop up suddenly when browsing on a mobile device prompting you to download and install an app – are proving too annoying for mobile visitors and Google intends to curb their use through a policy change. On 2nd November, Google therefore put in place a new policy to discourage the use of these kind of ads.
According to this policy, Google has already penalised mobile sites that make use of interstitial ads by removing these websites mobile-friendly status – a change which will have a sizable impact on mobile traffic for the sites concerned.
According to Google’s more detailed blog post about the policy from September last year:
"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."
We'll keep you posted but for now, if you use an intersital to promote your app, you might want to consider it's future carefully if you want to keep mobile visitors coming to your site.