In Google Mobile Search, two upcoming changes makes it finding content easier for users on the to search results.
First up, simplifying mobile search results by removing the “label”, although the mobile-friendly criteria will continue to be a ranking signal for the uncluttered page.
Remember, this new signal is just one of hundreds of signals that are used in google ranking.
Google had two years back introduced a new “mobile-friendly label” that helps users to find pages “where the text and content was readable without zooming” and “the tap targets were appropriately spaced.”
Since then, 85% of all pages in the mobile search results now meet this criteria and show the mobile-friendly label, so, the label is taken-off, added google.
Google says, to help webmasters evaluate the effect of the mobile-friendly signal on their pages—they’ll continue providing the ‘mobile usability report in Search Console” and the “mobile-friendly test.”
Secondly, after January 10, 2017, web pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly, the company stated.
“Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller,” google explained.
Adding they said, although majority of pages today have text and content readable without zooming, but most of them show “intrusive interstitials’ to users which visually obscured content. While still the underlying content is present on the page and available to be indexed by Google.
Resulting in frustrations to users because they are unable to easily access the content that they expected while tapping on the search result.
Google further explains their point with some examples that webmasters deploy to make content less accessible:
- a popup covering the main content is displayed, either immediately after a user lands to a page from the search results, or while they are navigating or looking through the page.
- a standalone dismissable interstitial that a user has to click before they can access main content.
- Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.
The interesting point here to note is, Google’s AdSense team encourges publishers to implement a full page pop-up ads. Maybe, google can explain better.
Continuing further, they offer techniques that don’t affect new signal:
- Interstitials that appear to be in response to a legal obligation, such as for cookie usage or for age verification.
- Login dialogs on sites where content is not publicly indexable.
- Banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible.