Thursday, October 22, 2015

EYES HERE: Google’s November 1 Update's Impact on Your Mobile Website

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Today’s time and age have us all perpetually connected to our phones.

From downloading the latest music, surveying various videos, browsing through recipes, updating Facebook statuses—everything is manageable with the click of a finger.

For such a small and nondescript electronic device, our phones hold so much potential and power.

And Google is well aware of this fact, which is why application updates have been made to accommodate this colossal evolution. However, as the digital world develops and advances, the terrain once navigated by websites transforms itself as well—leaving digital marketing agencies to struggle with constant upgrades.

Currently, websites are traversing the digital landscape wrought by search engine juggernaut Google through the adoption of these changes and by vying amongst each other for that ever coveted “mobile-friendly” banner. The failure and nonconformity of which results to a demotion in search rankings—a search engine optimization (SEO for brevity) company’s ignominious living nightmare.

In spite of this recent mobile revolution given the moniker "mobilegeddon" by Google itself, having a “mobile-friendly” banner just does not seem to cut it nowadays. So, android app and iPhone app developers look closely and eyes here as this imminent update may very well change the gameplay of how you develop your apps.

As recently announced by Google, it would henceforth decrease the rankings of any mobile sites found to be forcing visitors to install an application as prompted by a giant app install interstitial pop-up.

Though these ads never hurt anyone, it is only right that Google do so. 

Imagine a typical day of web surfing on your mobile phone and having your experience interrupted by enormous app install interstitial pop-ups whose sheer size is enough to cover whatever you might be reading about.

They block a significant amount of content from view, are typically obtrusive and are irksome in the least. To address this issue accordingly, Google recently posted an update stating in context that commencing November first of this year, sites that show app install ads which hide a considerable amount of content on the transition from the search result page to the next page will be penalized.

This pivotal move by Google ensures that end users and visitors are granted the unhampered mobile experience they should have. Though mobile sites greatly exploit interstitial ads as a way to get users to notice their native apps, users, on the other hand, see this as an obvious marketing attempt and ploy to get them to download those apps.

So what does this mean for your company? 

Well, in essence, it means your company has to adapt to this recent change. Having a website that is considered mobile friendly will no longer suffice; alternatively, you must also take this new update into consideration by implementing various changes to acclimatize Google’s recent announcement.

To begin incorporating these changes, a banner overhaul is needed. Having it occupy nearly all the window space might get it noticed but would inevitably cause you to be penalized. Redesign your banner in such a way that it would be fixed at the bottom of your screen or at the top.

A size reduction would be needed as well-- which can be easily done with an app install banner which is supported by Chrome and Safari or you can opt for a classic approach with CSS remodeling.

Google perspective is to promote unhindered and quality user experience and in accordance to this vision, the search engine demigod will compel the market to do away with app interstitials. Non-compliance would mean the revocation of the “mobile-friendly” tag.

In two months’ time, this update will be enforced which means that you would need to start making changes immediately. Any delays on your part will cost you valuable ranking points making it imperative that you start today.

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