Google To Penalize Sites That Have App Download Pop-ups

Google have announced that as of November 1st any site with a pop-up prompt asking users to download their mobile app will have their search rankings affected.

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.

They go on to to say that their mobile friendly algorithm and testing tool will take this into consideration for sites now too. Google also advised that smaller and less intrusive banners at the top of a mobile page should be used instead of pop-ups and interstitials and these would not be penalized.

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Examples of bad and good app download prompts from Google.


5 thoughts on “Google To Penalize Sites That Have App Download Pop-ups

  1. A lot of these recommendations are really sensible approaches to ensure that the user experience of mobile web is as seamless as that of a (good) desktop page or mobile app.

    Just wondering, though – given that it’s much harder (impossible?) for Google to index apps, is it also in their interest to encourage the take-up of mobile web and reduce the importance of apps?

  2. I agree completely with @John. These are just pop-ups in a different guise and they can definitely be annoying to the user. Good to see Google taking notice.

  3. Good, I am so tired of all the modern variants of popups that just use new coding strategies to get around users stated preferences in their browser to block popups. These app popups on mobile are bad as are all the others.

    Those using these anti-user practices often like to try and change the name of what they are doing in addition to the code in order to get away from the stigma of calling what they are doing what it is – popups). Just because the code is using CSS or something else to block the users screen doesn’t provide a decent reason to think that is ok.

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