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27 January

The key to online success is to drive quality targeted traffic to websites that are easy to understand, and simple to navigate. It must be transparent WHO you are, WHAT you sell, WHERE it can be purchased, WHY consumers should purchase it and HOW they should do it.

When you use a search engine like Google, your goal is most likely to find the most appropriate answer to your questions, no matter what device you happen to be using. There has been a recent change made that will make it much easier to find the content you’re looking for.

While most of the pages on the Internet are readable without making adjustments, there have been many occasions where the underlying content may be hidden by an interstitial, forcing you to take action before you can even see what lies beneath.

What is an interstitial?

Interstitial ads are full-screen advertisements that obscure the interface of their host application. Usually these ads are displayed at organic transition points in the flow of an application. As an example, when you pause between levels in a game - or between your online activities. Oft times, they freeze for a designated number of seconds before an “X” out opportunity presents itself onscreen.

Because of the fact that interstitials “get in the way” by forcing users to stare at them until they can escape out of it, they tend to grab the attention of the users, but not necessarily in a good way. Typically, grabbing the users’ attention would be an advantage, but these ads keep (or delay) site visitors from completing a desired action. This can be very frustrating to users, because they can’t easily access the content they were expecting to find when they clicked on the search result. If too many of these mobile ads are encountered, it could lead to application uninstalls.

Pages that display these intrusive interstitials result in a poorer experience to users than that of other pages where the message or content is available instantly. This is especially true when the user’s screen is smaller, such as mobile screens. However, on January 10, 2017, Google introduced the Intrusive Mobile Interstitial Penalty, which penalizes intrusive interstitials that manifest themselves directly after going from the results of a Google mobile search to a specific page.

The types of interstitials that will prove to be problematic, making the content more difficult to access, are those that:

  • Show a popup that covers a page’s content, whether it’s right after the user navigates to a page from the results of a search, or while they’re browsing through the page
  • Force a user to dismiss a standalone interstitial ad before seeing the content originally searched for
  • Incorporates a layout in which the above-the-fold part of the webpage looks like a standalone interstitial, yet the original content has been inlined beneath the fold

At the end of the day, it’s imperative for a company to assure that its website is user-friendly, so that visitors to the page can easily convert without jumping through hoops, and over hurdles. Attempting to “trick” them, or forcing them into the sale just doesn’t work these days, and Google is now penalizing people for doing it.

Any marketer that is transparent and has an easy to navigate WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHY and HOW will be just fine. We know how successful this can be, because that’s what we do at Genius Monkey, and our name has come to be synonymous with success!

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