Earlier this week Google announced that on November 1st they will be making a small tweak to their algorithm to further improve the quality of search results.

This new update will penalise websites that use very large and intrusive pop-up windows to encourage visitors to download their app.

What effect will the update have?

If you’ve ever come across one of these pop-ups whilst browsing you will probably understand how frustrating they can be, particularly when being viewed using a mobile device. If you’re expecting to see a particular webpage and a pop-up appears over it you may find that some or all of the content you’re trying to view is hidden, and it may also be difficult to hide or navigate away from the pop-up.

Google are constantly innovating the way that they rank websites to continue providing quality search results in an online landscape that is ever-evolving.
Once the new update is live Google will identify pop-ups advertising apps and then analyse how much of the page is being hidden by the pop-up. If it deems the answer to be a ‘significant amount’ then it will no longer consider the web page to be mobile-friendly and you may notice a decrease in the page’s ranking in Google’s search results.

Will my website be affected?

This will only affect websites with pop-ups relating to app installations. To find out if the new update will put your website at risk you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool, which has now been updated to reflect the changes.

How can I advertise my app?

As stressed in previous blogs we’ve written, mobile-friendly design is becoming more important by the day. It’s already important to think about user experience when designing and building your website to decrease bounce rate and encourage people to return to your website; the latest Google update will only reinforce the importance of this.

If you do have an app that you wish to advertise on your website try using a small banner across the top or bottom of the screen (as pictured on the right) rather than a whole page pop-up (left) as this will interfere less with user experience.

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