Google Will Begin Cracking Down on Mobile Interstitials Next Year

After initially taking a stand on just mobile app install ads, Google announced on Tuesday that they will be implementing a mobile interstitial penalty beginning in 2017.

The Google mobile interstitial crackdown will potentially lower the organic ranking of sites with intrusive popup ads starting January 10th. The new policy is an addendum to one the company implemented in November of 2015, which was meant to specifically cover app install ads on mobile sites. Both policies are considered factors of Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm.

Mobile interstitials that Google considers intrusive include:

  • Interstitials that cover main content
  • Interstitials that need to be dismissed before accessing main content
  • Half-page interstitials designed to look similar to the main page’s content
Image via Google

Google outlined acceptable uses of the mobile interstitial in the same blog post, which include age verification popups, login screens, and Safari/Chrome-approved app install ads.

Interestingly, left off the list of approved interstitials is Google’s own new AdSense page-level ad product, launched earlier this Summer. Expect there to be an update from either the AdSense or Webmaster team on these ads before the January 10th Google mobile interstitial penalty enforcement.

Along with the crackdown on mobile interstitials, Google announced it was doing-away with the “mobile-friendly” label in search results. The company cited the fact that 85% of all pages in search results are now mobile friendly, and the need to keep the SERPs “uncluttered”, as the rationale for dropping this designation.