Google has decided to take another look at its policy for interstitial mobile app ads that pop up when a user opens a mobile site, irking users by suggesting they download an app. The search engine giant stated that it would change its approach for such ads on Google+.
Users find interstitial useless
In a study last year, Google found 9% of the visitors pressed the ‘Get App’ button, whereas 69% of them left the page completely. Seeing the results, Google decided to replace the interstitial ads on Google+ with banner ads in an experiment. The results were very encouraging as active users surged by 17% while iOS native app installs were unaffected.
Following this, “We decided to permanently retire the interstitial,” wrote David Morell, a software engineer for Google+, adding “We believe that the increase in users on our product makes this a net positive change.” The executive noted other mobile sites will also review the use of promotional interstitials as well.
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TechCrunch stated that Google+ interstitial study is a teaser in terms of data it yields, but it underlines the ongoing issue of serving any kind of ads on mobile without specifically irritating the users. TechCrunch also doubted the sample size the study, noting it was on a small scale as the company was only focusing on the performance of interstitial ads asking users to download Google+ social service.
Yelp CEO Calls Google a hypocrite
Commenting on the study, Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO of Yelp, called Google a hypocrite. Stoppleman argues that Google has double standards as it runs its apps, but nixes others.
“Google says stop pushing App downloads yet its own teams push apps using same “bad” designs,” Stoppelman said.
The Google and Yelp fight goes back a long way, when the search engine giant acquired rival Zagat in 2011. Yelp has time and again expressed opinions in opposition to the search giant. Most recently, in the current EU antitrust case, Yelp accused Google of using its dominant position to influence search results on desktop. And now with the apps, the local reviews company is accusing of Google of similar activities.
Despite the doubts over Google’s intentions, the latest move does highlight the firms efforts to reduce user “friction” on mobile ads.