Hey Google, Stay Out Of My Business!

Posted by | November 29, 2016 | Digital Strategy | No Comments

Did I get your attention?  I am an Outsourced Chief Digital officer which means I provide digital strategies to companies who can not justify hiring a full time Chief Digital Officer.  I have to begin by saying that Google is one of the most influential forces in the digital space.  Overall, I am a fan of their contributions.  However, they continue to use their immense influence to dictate to strategists and developers the standards web sites must follow in order to continue to be ranked well organically in their search engine.  You do not have to follow their standards, but it is inferred if you do not that you will pay a price with how you are indexed.

While Google does not make their algorithms or planned modifications to it public, it is widely believed that they are about to institute a new standard that will affect millions of mobile web sites.  They want developers to remove “Intrusive Mobile Pop Ups”, or what Google is calling “interstitials”.

What is an interstitial?  Below is the definition provided by Google.  

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-4-34-43-pm

Did that definition mean anything to you?  Me neither, so check out these images below.  The image to the left is considered an interstitial while the image on the right should be okay>

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-4-16-15-pm

I agree with Google that these interstitials often contribute to a negative user experience.  The problem I have is that I believe the visitors should decide what is acceptable to them instead of Google deciding for us all.  If a site provides a bad experience, we all are empowered to hit the back arrow and click on the next site.  This should be our choice.  What if the content after the interstitial is much more valuable and worth the inconvenience.  Lastly, many sites rely on these opportunities for marketing and have invested a lot of money in tools to author and measure these interstitials. This will require web site owners who wish to adhere to Google’s new standards to scrap that investment and start all over again.  

Hey Google, LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE.

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