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Google penalise mobile sites that use pop-up ads

Google is to begin penalising websites that use pop-up mobile ads asking users to install an app.

Clip Art of 2 phones showing Google and Reviews

You know how it is.

You search for something on your phone, click through and then are faced with a pop-up app install ad covering up most of the page.

Annoying isn’t it?

You just want to see what you have searched for, rather than downloading the site’s app or looking for that hard-to-find  “X” button.

Well it looks like this kind of activity could be a thing of the past if Google have their way.

And the move could have a big impact on advertisers, publishers and other content creators, who might soon see their search rankings affected.

Not “mobile friendly”

Writing on its Webmaster Central Blog, Google says that app install ads, which can block a large amount of content from users and prompt them to install various applications, are a big no-no.

Google has now started telling sites during its Mobile-Friendly Tests that they should avoid showing such interstitial’s or face the consequences.

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,” explains Google software engineer Daniel Bathgate.

But what if sites continue with this activity?

Well, sites that ignore Google’s advice will no longer be considered “mobile-friendly,” after November 1st.


This latest announcement comes after Google carried out an internal study that showed just how much users hate such ads.

Results showed that 69% of people who encounter these pop-ups abandoned the entire page completely. With only 9% actually pressing the “get app” button.


However, some people have been quick to point out that Google themselves actually favour this type of advertising method to promote their own products.

Tweet from Mike Dudas

So only time will if this is just another a case of, what is good for the goose isn’t necessarily good for the gander, or if pop-up app install adds really will become a thing of the past.


Want to make sure your mobile site is performing to its best ability and not being penalised?

Talk to Webrevolve today about our Web Design and SEO services by calling 0845 163 1616.