Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Google Search Will Penalize Mobile Sites With Interstitial Ads

Jack Marshall, Wall Street Journal:

In a post published Tuesday on the Google Webmasters blog, Google product manager Doantam Phan wrote, “Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller.”

As a result, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from mobile search results may not rank as highly in Google’s search results after Jan. 10, 2017, the post said. This could result in less traffic to those pages and sites.

Examples of interstitials that make content less accessible include pop-ups that “cover the main content [of a page], either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page,” Mr. Phan wrote.

Marshall and Phan are right — interstitial covers can be really irritating on mobile browsers. But why stop there? They provide a crappy desktop experience as well. Why not apply the same algorithmic demotion to all sites that practice this user-unfriendly technique?

Coincidentally, I added api.bounceexchange.com to my JavaScript Blacklist today. Bounce Exchange is a company that specializes in this sort of thing, and it drives me crazy.