Google’s John Mueller responded if Google considered intermediate ads on mobile as a negative page experience factor. Mueller acknowledged that nothing has changed. But he then suggested a way to show intermediate ads without any negative quality factor affecting the placement.
Mobile intermediate ads
A mobile intermediate ad is one that covers a webpage significantly so that a user cannot see the content.
There are two types of intermediate ads, one that is superimposed over most of the web page and requires a click to close it.
The other type of mobile intermediate ad is the kind that covers the entire web page.
Google’s anti-interstitial negative ranking factor
In August 2016, Google announced that it would make mobile intermediate ads a negative ranking factor. The update to the algorithm took place in January 2017.
Google specifically listed this type of advertising in order to trigger a negative ranking factor:
Displays a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or as they browse the page. Displays a standalone split time that the user must reject before accessing the main content. Use a layout where the over-fold portion of the page looks like a separate intermediate ad, but the original content has been inscribed under the fold. ”
Continue reading below
Is Google’s position on intermediate ads developed?
The person who asked the question noticed that interstitials worked very well for them. But they were worried about a negative ranking factor.
This is the question:
“In 2017, intermediate ads were a big no-no.
And even today, AdSense vignette revenue generation is limited to appearing only once an hour.
But in our case, interstitials are again far better solutions than banner ads because banner ads take up valuable screen space. Intermediate ads are very common in mobile apps.
Is there any change in Google’s position on intermediate ads?
Will using interstitial ads on our mobile site affect our rank? ”
Google’s 2021 statement on mobile intermediate ads
John Mueller stated that Google’s position has not changed or evolved in any way.
John Mueller’s answer:
“There’s not really a change in our position when it comes to intermediate ads, as intrusive intermediate ads are still something we would use for as a ranking factor.
It is also part of the side experience and elements. ”
Continue reading below
Google Approved Intermediate Ads
Mueller then described a way to show intermediate ads so that they do not trigger a negative ranking factor from Google.
“However, this is mainly focused on the moment a user comes to your site.
So if you use intermediate ads as something in between … the normal flow of when a user goes to your site, it’s less of a problem from our point of view.
But really, if anyone comes to your site and the first thing they see is this great intermediate ad and they actually can not find the content that they were essentially promised in search, from the point of view that looks bad out.
But if people can go to your site, they can do something there, they can start playing a game, and just like at the start of the next level, you show an intermediate ad, so from our point of view it’s just fine.
It’s basically something between you and the user and finding the balance between how many ads you show or how you present these ads during the … session on the site, it’s essentially something up to you.
So from that point of view, it’s probably less of a problem to focus on.
I do not know your specific site, I do not know what it’s like when users go to it.
But it’s something I’ll probably guess is ok. ”
User experience: First thing visitors see
Google’s position on mobile intermediate ads is that users should be able to see and interact with the content when they reach the web page from a search result.
When Google sends a user to a webpage, they expect users to find the content they are looking for and not be held away from it by an intermediate ad.
But according to John Mueller, as long as the interstitial is not the first thing a user sees, that should be fine.
Google Intermediate Penalty Notice
Help users with easy access to mobile content
How to use intermediate ads without affecting rankings
See John Mueller answer the question at the 35 minute mark: