Google announced two significant modifications concerning its mobile search results. The first one, you would surely notice that Google would start removing the “mobile-friendly” label that emphasized pages, which were easy to read on mobile received through mobile search results.
In due course, though, the second modification may be even more wide reaching: Beginning on January 10, 2017, the company would start penalizing mobile pages that display invasive interstitials, when a user initially opens a page and they would rank lower in search results.
What is the reason of eliminating the mobile-friendly label? As per Google’s own data, 85% of all pages, which are displayed on its mobile search results pages are currently mobile-friendly. Hence, in order to declutter the results pages, it is eliminating the label even as it would persist using it as a ranking signal.
The penalization is due to disturbing interstitials – some disturbing ads and announcements that are spread over the entire page and contain the tiniest possible button for disenabling them, which unavoidably lead to clicking on the ad accidentally although you did not wish to purchase a new car – are likely to be regretted by bad marketers, but for users, it cannot come that early.
Here, it must be noted that Google would not penalize all sites, which are using interstitials, but only those that create content less reachable. It means that popups, which cover the major content after the users navigate a page or when they go through it and also as standalone interstitials that have to be discarded before you are able to access the major content and pages that display what appears to be a standalone interstitial above the fold. The later ones are particularly disturbing as they habitually push the major content down once they load, which very often leads the user to click on them unintentionally.
Many interstitials like those that sites use for login dialogs and are still all right according to legal obligations, certainly would not push a site down in Google rankings.