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Google to crack down on mobile sites with obtrusive app install ads

Google is set to make more changes to its mobile search rankings, this time downranking websites with annoying, overly-large popups asking users to download their app. Called interstitials, the popups cover a significant portion of the webpage upon arrival, making for a generally poor user experience.

Starting today, Google is updating its mobile-friendly test page for webmasters to point out the issue on their websites. Starting November 1, Google will mark websites with obtrusive interstitials as non-mobile-friendly. From Google:

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. As an alternative to app install interstitials, browsers provide ways to promote an app that are more user-friendly.

Those user-friendly app promotions that Google is referring to are app install banners that appear at the top of a mobile page — something you're probably familiar with from visiting Android Central's mobile site.

Source: Google

35 Comments
  • Sweet Posted via the Android Central App
  • Poor yahoo. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Pinterest on the browser stops you from viewing on mobile in favor of pushing their app as well.
  • Yes I've been waiting for something like this, so sick of getting redirected out of no where to the play store. Need to do the same for ads SGS6
  • +1million I really hate that! Posted via the Android Central App
  • +2 million Sent from my Moto G
  • Google (along with every other browser maker) just needs to update their browser to remove ANY functionality that allows content to pop up over other content. It is clear by now that web devs simply either cannot or will not use this feature responsibly, choosing to annoy the shite out of their users in order to try and get something out of them.
  • Especially the fake play stores that are still out there too pushing you to download something from an identical copy of the playstore.
  • About time... Always covers up my porn. Posted via the Android Central App
  • +10000000 Posted via the Android Central App
  • Or redirect you completely to some "anti-virus scanner" download.
  • +1 Google! Posted via the Android Central App
  • AC has this... To some extent Posted From my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface pro 3
  • Good. Posted via Android Central App
  • Adguard. Blocks adds in apps and on Internet. No root. Been using for a week and fully intend to pay for the premium script. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Does that mean no more Clean Master ads on my webpages? If so, thank heavens. Posted from the LG G4 "Spigen + Anime" Edition. It says "Pointy end of the S Pen goes into the slot first. NOT the other way around".
  • YES! I'm fine with a banner at the top or something, but these full screen pop ups need to stop! Wubba lubba dub dub!
  • Bleacher report and Forbes... Two biggest offenders I use regularly Check out the new Nexus! https://youtu.be/u3uFOavLo_w, not a Rick roll
  • +1 for bleacher report. I will also add best buy and ign to this as well. The banner at the top wanting me to install gets on my nerves. Posted via the Android Central App
  • A lot of papers and media are horrible for those full page ads
  • Finally Sent from my Moto G
  • THANK YOU! Kickass torrents and the pirate bay are annoying af! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Don't think they are going to fix those Posted From my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface pro 3
  • I hope your wrong. Kickass isn't a mobile site so you might be right. I get these stupid pop ups saying my phone is running slow or its infected, it gives me the option of OK or cancel. 80% of time when I click cancel it takes me to the Play Store or a stupid page pops up and when I hit back it takes me two pages back and then I have you reclick on what I was originally at then sometimes it happens all over again. RAWR it ticks me off Posted via the Android Central App
  • Use Firefox and install uBlock and there you go including Ghostery browser. Forget Chrome for ad powered sites. Common sense folks Posted via the Android Central App on my Nexus 5 or Nexus 7 2013
  • More reasons to love Google. Thanks guys. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Can't count the times I've been redirected to a site, telling me I have a virus and need protection. Then sending me to the play store. SGS6
  • What i cant stand is those popup adds that says your device is infected. I hope they also do something about those. Even though they don't affect me since I'm not stupid enough to download anything from ads or even click on them for that matter but, some people are uninformed enough to do it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • They're all so annoying Posted via...The One
  • Now if they can do it for those sites that have the big pop-up to like them on Facebook or similar too. Playfully Posted by a Moto X Play
  • About time too. +3 million. Posted via the Android Central App on my Moto G 4G 2nd Gen
  • Go Google! This is great news. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Thank the jesus Posted via the Android Central App
  • I stop going to sites that do this, as much as I can. And I don't d/l their app. If they are willing to do this, it makes me wonder what other BS I will have to put up with and so, it's just not worth my time.
  • IGN springs to mind. Posted via the Android Central App