Google Updates its Mobile-Friendly Algorithm

After Mobilegeddon and ‘The Phantom Update’ caused a massive upset within the online community, everyone scrambled to make the necessary changes in order to comply with the new ‘best practice’ guidelines as set out by Google. However, just when we thought that we had managed to get our websites back into Google’s good graces, the search engine tycoons went ahead and updated the algorithm. And, unfortunately, for those websites whose mobi-sites make use of giant app install interstitial ads, a drop in rankings is inevitable.

Back in September, the powers that be made an announcement that giant app install interstitial ads might result in lowered rankings in the near future, and, much to the dismay of many website owners, they have kept their word. As of November 2nd 2015, the “app install interstitial penalty” was made live, and is set to gradually make its presence known over the next few weeks.

The penalty has no doubt been implemented by Google in an effort to further enhance user-experience when it comes to mobi-sites and their functionality – and, in this regard, it follows in the footsteps of Mobilegeddon (which sought to penalise websites that had yet to optimise for mobile in terms of both functionality and content). After all, most internet users who browse the net using their mobile phones will agree that there is nothing more irritating than trying to read an article, only for a massive pop-up ad, encouraging you to download an app that you are not in the least bit interested in, to interrupt you half-way through. In fact, unless you have a rather high tolerance for such things, you are highly likely to navigate away from the page. So, if you think about it, Google is actually doing website owners a favour. Without the presence of annoying pop-up app download ads, their bounce rates are sure to decrease rather substantially.

Many website owners, however, will argue that it is these giant app install interstitial ads that result in an increased number of app downloads – something that many of them will be incredibly reluctant to part with. So, what can these website owners do in order to ensure that they comply with Google’s standards and that, at the same time, their app downloads do not suffer? Thankfully, there is a reasonable solution – instead of opting for full-page pop-up ads, why not consider app install banners instead? These are a lot more user-friendly and are certain to help you to maintain the number of app downloads that you are used to seeing when using pop-up ads.

Now that you are aware of the latest update, in order to stabilise your rankings, and recover them if you have been penalised, it is time to, once again, make some mobile-friendly changes. Remember, as Google’s Eric Schmidt said back in 2014, “The trend has been ‘mobile was winning’. It's now won.”

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