Google announced that they will make two new updates to their mobile search results- one regarding the outlook of the search results itself, and another on its algorithms. The changes will come next year. The older versions with “mobile-friendly” label, were present in search results, and are being cleaned out. Moreover it is also punishable if any mobile sites that use interstitials. The purpose is to “make finding content easier for users” Google is yet to comment on its impact on users.
In November 2014, Google began some labeling sites as “mobile-friendly”, showing that those pages are optimized for phones. Then in February 2015, Google rolled out mobile ranking changes in April 2015, and then in March 2016, it promised to start ranking “mobile-friendly” sites later in May.
Google has placed these ranking for months now, and they believe they have received the desired results and therefore the label is not needed anymore.
According to Googlebot- A webpage is considered “mobile-friendly” if it meets the following criteria:
1. A page that avoids using any software that is not common on mobile devices
2. Also, the page which scales the content to fit the screen so users don’t have to endlessly poke about their screens trying to scroll up and down or zoom.
3. Pages that place links within a reasonable distance, as to make it easier for the user to tap on the desired one are also considered to be amongst the good ones.
Nevertheless Google has bigger plans, they want to keep “improving” the result sites by ranking them based on its own criteria. The search giant also wants to take on “intrusive interstitials” as they “provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible.” After that the ranking pages which might not have easy to access content from mobile search results “may not rank as highly.” But they do not plan to punish all types of interstitials.
The blacklisted Interstitials mostly consist of those that popup covering the main content.
Good behaving Interstitials according to Google include legal obligations, cookies for age verification; login dialogs on sites where contents are not suitable for all ages, and banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible.
Google responds that this initiative “is just one of hundreds of signals that are used in ranking.” But best to avoid such interstitials, will do much good to both the users and control Google traffic.