Those full-page ads you hate are being relegated

08 Oct 2015

Google’s mobile algorithms now downgrade brands that push their mobile apps too aggressively on their mobile websites. Alongside their clean new logo, rolled out in September, Google has announced another change to its search algorithms. A webpage that contains interstitial ads (those that cover the majority of user interface) will now no longer be classified as mobile-friendly.

The change suggests that a homepage banner is unlikely to affect a brand search term; however, banners on deeper pages that are reached through searches for non-brand keywords are likely to be affected on some level.

Google analysis has shown that such interstitial ads are frustrating for users who are searching and expecting to see the content of a webpage. This move also relates to Google’s overall strategy to surface organic results and drive websites to be increasingly user-friendly, with the added bonus of encouraging brands that want to sell directly to consumers via search to invest in AdWords.

newsletter in April outlined the ‘Mobilegeddon’ changes that Google made to their algorithms, incentivising webmasters to mobile-optimise their sites, or be downgraded in branded search.

A friend of Komosion, Simon Van Wyk, recently wrote an article on the rise of ad blockers. He writes:

"From day one, the Internet was a medium built around the concept of utility. Sites that are easy to use get more visitors than those which are not. Pages that download quickly convert better than those that do not. Amazon and Google dominate their categories despite the fact they look pretty ordinary, simply because they work really well."

However, the advertising industry has largely ignored this premise, and ploughed on with their ‘fixation on brand experience’, that users never asked for, or invited. Van Wyk points out that it is therefore not surprising that over 500 million adblockers have now been downloaded across the world.

Google therefore, is recognising users’ frustrations with its improved algorithms, also recognised and reflected in Apple’s new iOS 9, which has the ability to support adblockers.

According to
Google Analytics Data, the average web page can take over 10 seconds to load on a mobile. As we know, a user can become disengaged after waiting for more than just one second. Given this, we clearly have a long way to go in rendering a completely user-friendly experience.

Mobile-friendly configuration is now more relevant than ever, with users holding high expectations that their experience with an organisation will be seamless across all their devices.

Komosion uses responsive design, so our bias is pretty clear, but we are not alone in our opinions! Google has outlined its commitment to accessibility, aiming to provide a good browsing experience for all users.

Responsive Design is Google’s most recommended web design because of:

  • Share-ability: linking and sharing content with a single URL. Consistency is key.
  • Indexing: allows Google’s algorithms to accurately assign indexing properties to the one page, rather than checking two places for the same content.
  • Maintenance: no need to maintain multiple pages with the same content.
  • No redirection: load times can be significantly affected if sites have to be device optimised, which is also prone to errors, degrading the user experience. Faster sites lead to more conversions.
  • SEO friendly: avoids pitfalls of bad redirects and a fragmented link presence.
  • Reduces common mistakes that affect mobile sites, such as unplayable content or blocked image files.

If you think your website needs improving, talk to Mara Patterson today.