App download interstitials drive users away: Google

With millions of apps for consumers to select from in popular app stores, many companies struggle to drive installs of their mobile apps.

Companies with websites frequently use interstitials in an effort to convert mobile web users into mobile app users, but according to Google, these efforts could come with significant risk.

Google: avoid ‘download app’ pop-ups or lose mobile search rankings

Google’s Webmaster Central blog today announced changes in the way it ranks smartphone search results, with a focus on eliminating flaws which affect the user experience. 

One of the usability issues highlghted is those pesky interstitials which prompt visitors to download mobile apps, while other issues include faulty redirects and unplayable videos. 

This seems to be a positive move from Google, and one which should help to eliminate the usability problems which detract from mobile browsing. 

Here are some of the issues to avoid… 

Ad overkill: are news sites putting ad revenues before usability?

Many newspapers are struggling to survive, and you can understand that they would want to maximise online ad revenues, but I think some run the risk of losing users through ad overkill. 

Some news websites, and this in common on regional sites especially, are using some very annoying and intrusive ad formats which could be doing more harm than good. 

I’m not saying they shouldn’t use advertising, but newspapers have to find a balance between reader engagement and maximising ad revenues.