Yesterday, Google announced that as of November 1st, webpages need to get rid of any interstitials— those annoying prompts you get from some websites that want you to download their mobile app— or else face the penalty of losing priority in mobile search results:
“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.”
As discussed previously, more and more people are using their phones— not their laptops or desktops— to perform searches. Being considered non mobile-friendly can significantly impact organic traffic, as it’s known that Google aims to return only mobile-friendly sites in mobile search. Also, the Mobile Usability report in Search Console will warn you if it detects large app download interstitials. Rather than using app download interstitials, Google reminds that browsers promote apps in ways that are more user-friendly.
Back in late July, Google published a post on its blog asking people to reconsider using app download interstitials. History shows us that when Google issues a recommendation it is best to listen, because an algorithm update soon follows behind.