ApexChat and Google SEO

Interstitial Changes on Mobile and What it Means for You

 

On Aug 23, 2016, Google announced a pending change to one of their ranking signals. This change, albeit rather small, has fairly large impact.

 

As of  Jan 10, 2017, pages that show intrusive interstitials will get a negative signal. At the moment, this change from Google is specifically targeting mobile devices, as, due to their small screen size, they are more susceptible to a poor user experience caused by these interstitials. To improve the mobile search experience, Google will begin adjusting those signals down, which impacts all sites that use this style of user interaction.

 

While ApexChat has always attempted to provide a great user experience, this update by Google does force us to adjust one particular style of invitation we have utilized in the past on mobile platforms. Rolling out this change is an operation that will be handled through configuration changes internally at ApexChat, and will not require any updates to our customers’ websites. We will be working with all our customers (existing and new) to ensure that by the time Google rolls out their new signal, there will be no negative impact.

 

To provide some further context, some examples of techniques that Google has stated “make content less accessible to a user” include the following:

 

  • “Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.
  • Displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the 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.”

 

 

Intrusive interstitials. Source: googleblog.com

Intrusive interstitials. Source: googleblog.com

 

 

In comparison, some interstitials are not considered intrusive. Dialogs for content that is not publicly available, or dialogs that are legally required (cookies, age verification, etc) is not a problem. Additionally, according to Google, “Banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible. For example, the app install banners provided by Safari and Chrome are examples of banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space.” This last option is one of multiple alternatives we are rolling out to our customers here at ApexChat.

 

 

Valid interstitials. Source: googleblog.com

Valid interstitials. Source: googleblog.com

 

 

In order to maintain the utmost quality and absolutely top notch search results for our customers, we have undertaken the task of moving all our customers who currently utilize a full-screen chat invitation to one (or multiple) of our other innovative invitation mechanisms. These mechanisms can include any number of different options, but some popular ones include our sidebar, topbar, and our SMS-chat option, which allows the user to have a direct SMS chat using their standard phone messenger application.

 

 

Alternative Chat Options

Alternative Chat Options

 

 

At this time, we do not believe these signal updates will impact desktop settings, however we will continue to keep an eye on Google’s updates and stay on top of any pending changes.

 

As always, your success is our success, and we want to hear from you – if you have any questions or concerns, just start a chat with us!