New policy of Google against interstitial ads – How should advertisers survive?


According to Google, a very crucial part of mobile web will not remain the same anymore. At least that is what the intention is of the search engine giant, Google. Have you noticed those big ads which pop up on your screen once you open a website and monopolize your entire mobile screen? The ad probably prompts you to download the app and becomes an obstacle to surfing the web effortlessly. This is indeed too annoying for the users and for the search engine giant, Google. Therefore, it was on the 2nd of November, 2015 that Google introduced a new policy that would totally discourage such advertisements.

What step has Google taken?

As per the new policy put in place by Google, the websites which use interstitials will be penalized heavily and will be deemed as mobile-unfriendly websites. In the blog post, it was mentioned that the mobile web pages which shows an interstitial which prompts the visitor to install an app and that which hides a considerable amount of the actual content won’t be any more considered as mobile-friendly. However, this won’t affect the other kinds of interstitials. As an alternative to such interstitials which prompt you to install an app, the browsers should look for newer ways to promote their app in a perhaps more user-friendly manner.

What is Google’s ideology behind penalizing interstitials?

Google had published the results of some experiment which they had done on the impact of interstitials on one of its personal websites, Google+. Google then compared the results of showing the visitors to the mobile website of Google+ an app-install interstitial along with the results of showing them a less-intrusive app install add. While the banner ad was showed, it was reported that the total number of people installing the Google+ app remained same as compared to the interstitial. While on the other hand, the total number of one-day active users on the mobile website increased by 18%. The results of this study-cum-experiment clearly showed at the first glance that Google’s case against the interstitials is not as simple as it seems to be.

So, browsers which want to survive this policy should either create other innovative interstitials or should hide their current interstitials from Google so that their users are not dissatisfied with their search experience. However, there still remains a question whether or not Google is giving first priority to the users.

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