Interstitial VS Google

Hello everyone,

During the last few months, many of you have been wondering about what the impact and outcome of the different announcements made by Google on your businesses would be.

The last announcement made stipulated that starting on November 1st, 2015 Google will penalize the sites adapted to the navigation on portable devices that would advertise their own applications by means of interstitial.

We have commissioned a substantial amount of resources on the subject to provide you with a pundit’s opinion.

The following analysis stems from our own tests and experiments, undertaken in-house, and reckons the situation at present day; therefore, the results may be reliable for a short period.

It is highly dependent on own opinions: the only thing we are positive about at this time is that we know absolutely nothing on what Google may decide to do.

 

Is it dangerous to use interstitials?

To undertake our analysis based on hard facts, we have based our analysis on items that were available for consulting on “The Google Team official blog” since at present day; we have no awareness of any other official sources, besides Maile Ohyelors’ speech announcing that interstitials were detrimental to the internet user’s experience.

 

In its official blog, Google states: “After November 1, 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.”

Google advises against the use of interstitials in the framework of promoting applications to download, if such interstitials hide most of the contents of the website.

The alternative is to use tools that would enable such promotion, without blocking the actions of the consumers surfing the web on mobile devices.

The fact that the interstitial would hide what the consumer surfing the web on mobile devices would be originally looking for on the web, without enabling them to have quick and direct access to the contents.

The raising frustration that would stem from it would increase the bounce rate of the site.

Therefore, it would seem that only the applications related interstitials that would hide the whole of the contents of the page, that are impossible to close, and that block the actions of the consumer surfing the web on mobile devices, will be hunted down by Google.

To reach an assurance, we have used the tool made available by Google to test different sites and different types of interstitials:

A site with an interstitial offering a downloadable app on the site:

Google notice’s the site is adapted for navigation on portable devices, but has also detected the interstitial and advises to avoid that website.

The following month, the site had modified the interstitial, replacing it either with a pop-in, or advertising interstitial (for other brands and products), displaying the back of the site transparently (Interstitial at about 80%).

For this site, Google states thereon that the site is adapted to navigation on mobile devises but does not suggest avoiding the site any more.

On a site provided with our interstitial affil4you, displaying part of the page (90% of interstitial) and provided with a visible cross

Google notices the site is adapted for navigation on portable devices.

A website adapted for portable devices with a full page interstitial without a cross, offering an application to download, and also provided with a return link to the website.

Such site remains for us an unsolved mystery (as some other cases) since it was noticed as adapted for navigation on portable devices, but no advice was given regarding the interstitial.

So the site has been split into a website adapted for navigation on mobile devices, and a website, without interstitial.

A website with a video interstitial with an automatic execution and two sites with video and a full static screen, all three were flagged with a cross to be closed.

As in the previous case, Google notices them as adapted for navigation on portable devices, but no advice was given regarding the interstitial.

 

What would you advise me for my interstitials?

Since webmasters remain truly interested in using them:

They have certainly enabled self-promotion, and also advertising, collecting e-mails, as well as followers on the social networks such as Facebook, etc.

Interstitial is used by many websites, since it has the great advantage of being very visible, and therefore it has a much more effective impact than a simple advertising space or a pop-in header or footer, for example.

The advice we give you is the same we apply for ourselves for own “interstitial tool” taking into account the guidelines provided by Google:

An interstitial filling 75-90% of the screen of the portable device,

A visible cross, large enough to be clicked on is displayed.

An interstitial advertising a product related to the information the person surfing the net on a mobile device was about to see on the page he / she had clicked on.

Test your site with the “Google Webmaster Tool” and take into account the advice it provides.

The Google-fearing webmasters willing to take no risks can always follow the advice provided by Google morphing the interstitial into a pop-in.

Which is less visible, but more Google-friendly?

The pop-up is also an efficient alternative with a great ROI for affil4you even if it doesn’t enable visible contents to be displayed.

 

What has the Android app itself got to do with it?

The concerned interstitials seem to be those advertising & promoting a downloadable application.

We have monitored how the applications were perceived by the Google Bot.

The Google Webmaster Tool states that an “Android” application just like ours (promoting the website we are visiting) has no impact whatsoever on the Google-bot and seems to be completely acceptable.

Nevertheless, it is a well-known fact that most of the applications that have not been validated by Google and are not found in the Play Store, are most often perceived as Malwares.

It is legitimate to think that a website that AUTOMATICALLY continues to the download without the previous consent of the end-user will most probably be classified as such.

Therefore, concerning your applications, we strongly advise to avoid the automated download of the apps.

This is why it is not any longer the option by default of our APK on our sites adapted for mobile navigation.

We’d rather display a page offering to the end-user the possibility to download the app if he / she is interested, therefore obtaining his / her consent.

In order to obtain further information and advice, do not hesitate in contacting our team at the following address (sales@affil4you.com), or you may also visit our “Accuracy center” on affil4you to find the interstitial (Mobile Mask, Pop-in, Pop-up) as well as all the other tools.

You may consult our sources, and find some further information on: