Google has added an additional requirement for websites that want to rise higher in the SERPS. Tuesday, Google announced that as of Nov. 1, sites that use those obnoxious app install overlays will no longer be considered mobile-friendly.
This comes in addition to the April announcement when Google’s algorithm started favoring sites that opened quickly and easily on mobile devices .
“…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,” a post on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog reads. “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.”
This doesn’t affect other kinds of interstitials, the post explains. Instead of app install interstitials, there are other ways to promote apps that don’t get in the way of what people are searching for, Google notes: Both Safari and Chrome support app install banners, which simply pop up at the top of a page and still allow users to view the page without having to take any additional actions.
This announcement comes on the heels of Google’s July encouragement for sites to be more mobile friendly by alerting mobile searchers when sites use Flash.