Google strives to offer the best experience to its users and, hence, today it announced two major changes that will make it easier for users to locate and browse what they are looking for:
1. Dismissal of ‘mobile-friendly’ label:
Two years ago, Google began to enlist websites as mobile-friendly to inform mobile phone users that a particular website is mobile responsive. Our criteria were to identify websites that allowed functionalities including content being visible without zooming in and users being able to click on tabs that were reasonably spaced.
All this was done to ensure that all of our users are able to reap the benefits of our search engine, regardless of the device they are using. Our attempt resulted in many of the websites across the globe to convert to mobile responsive designs.
And today we see that around 85% of the websites on Google are compliant with our standards of a mobile-friendly website. Hence, we now feel that it would be best to remove the label allowing for less clutter and increased the comfort of our users.
Mobile-friendliness to remain ranking signal:
Mobile-friendliness will, however, continue to be a ranking signal. Google will also keep sharing mobile usability report in Search Console and the mobile-friendly test in order help webmasters analyze the effect of the mobile-friendly label on their pages.
2. Google to discourage mobile websites hosting intrusive messages
For mobile websites, we see that many host interstitials, advertisements, and pop-ups that are intrusive to users. These interstitials cover up the content of websites and can lead to frustration in users. Although the content is available to be indexed by Google, these annoying messages can undermine Google’s promise to deliver the content that was promised to users in the search results.
For these reasons, after January of 2017, all websites that host such interstitials will rank lower in search results.
Which interstitials will be penalized:
Intrusive interstitials including the following will be penalized:
1. Certain websites present an interstitial that covers the entire page and in order to access the website users much click on it:
2. At times websites fold content underneath interstitials.
Which interstitials will remain unaffected:
Interstitials can be necessary for users and can be responsibly used in the following cases:
2. Websites at times need to cover content under login dialog boxes because it isn’t publicly available.
3. Advertisements that inform people about useful applications and use up reasonable space also add value and will not be affected by this changes to the vast usage of install app interstitials; Google has added it to its new signal in a search. However, it is just one of the signals used to rank websites and, hence, the website with high-quality content will still rank relatively higher.