This week we have something of a commonality amongst our stories (Hello, by the way!). On one hand, Yahoo is saying that apps are dangerous for mobile search because it’s killing search traffic, while Google plans to penalize sites that push apps on people. Faaaaaaaascinating. All this and more in this week’s Smattering.
- Google To Penalize Mobile Sites With App Interstitials – A little while back, Google made a post on their blog in which they asked webmasters to reconsider offering app interstitials – those screens that offer a site’s app for you to download before going to the site itself – because they felt it got in the way of a user’s mobile experience. Well now they’ve gone a step further, stating that as of November first, Google will be penalizing sites which offer app interstitials. They’ve also updated their mobile-friendly testing tool to reflect this change as well. Personally, I’m thrilled with this change, as I never liked those darned interstitial screens.
- Google Revamps Its Look And It’s Kinda Great – Google has had a very similar look and feel for many years, but now that they’re under the Alphabet umbrella, maybe it is indeed time for a new look. Welp, earlier this week, Google unveiled the new look that is supposed to help unify its primary Google brands such as Maps, Gmail and more. The four colored dots have been a primary part of the Android logo for a while now, so it’s great to see them bringing it to the other brands. Overall, it’s a much cleaner look that should look great across browsers and platforms.
- European Firms Prepare To Launch Lawsuits Against Google – Seeing a possibility in possibly upcoming antitrust rulings against Google by European courts, a law firm and public affairs firm have launched a joint operation to help companies sue Google if Google is found at fault. Some see this as cashing in on the frustration many European companies feel toward Google for what they feel are legitimate anti-competitive practices. It’ll be interesting to see whether this kind of endeavor has any effect on Google should they be found at fault. Stay tuned.
- Content Mismatch Errors On HTTPS Pages Might Nullify Ranking Boost – Google has been giving a slight ranking boost to sites and pages that serve secure HTTPS over HTTP pages. In a recent Google Hangout, Google’s John Mueller said that their ranking boost might be nullified if there are mismatched elements of content on HTTPS pages, such as images that aren’t secure, or social media plugins that don’t use HTTPS for example. This is another great excuse to batten down those HTTPS hatches.
- Yahoo: Declining Mobile Browser Usage Threatens Search – Recently, Yahoo held its Mobile Developer Conference in New York, and one of the big takeaways of the conference was that app usage is way up while browser usage on smartphones is way down. According to Yahoo, app usage takes up 90% of smartphone users’ time, while browser usage only takes around 10%. Yahoo says that this threatens search since it sidelines mobile-friendly sites, search traffic from search engines (since those aren’t typically in apps), and so on. This might be why Google is not happy with app interstitials, as mentioned above.