Joost's weekly SEO recap:

App interstitials, snippets & knowledge panel

Next to Google getting a new logo, there was also actual news this week. Like… Google increased the height of its search box. Yes, really. Shocking, right? There’s more:

Do you have app interstitials? Drop them.

If you run a site that has an app interstitial, a popup asking the user to install your iPhone / Android app before leading them to the page they wanted to get to: stop it. The users never liked it, even though it might have worked, but Google has now decided it’s had enough. Google has even been kind enough to give us a cut-off date: November 1. Of course, none of this should come as a surprise, I wrote about it on June 5, when Googlers had already mentioned this would happen.

This app interstitial “penalty” also is just a continuation and an enhancement of what we referred to as “Mobilegeddon” a couple of months ago. I fully expect Google to become stricter and stricter in what it accepts in terms of User eXperience. It’s nice to see them announce changes like this though! Google says it doesn’t apply to cookie warnings and other popups, so no need to worry about those just yet.

Rich snippets don’t change your ranking

Rich snippets have become a prime weapon in the SEO’s arsenal over the years to improve the number of clicks you get from the search results. Recently, John Mueller of Google has said that they don’t impact your rankings. That’s not a reason to stop using them, their goal has always been to increase the number of people clicking on your result more than increasing the ranking, but it’s good to know.

Google adds quotes to knowledge panels

If you search for JRR Tolkien, the author of the famous Lord of the Rings novels, you’ll see some of the author’s quotes in the knowledge panel on the right. These quotes are new, showing one more case of Google disrupting an entire set of websites. This is yet another warning: your website has to add serious value if you want to get Google traffic. Value that Google cannot easily replicate. And even when you do add serious value, like Wikipedia, Google might take away some of that traffic.

If you want to learn more about knowledge panels in search results and don’t shy away from reading somewhat more technical posts, this post by Bill Slawski might be a good starting point. Bill analyzes tons of patents by Google (and a few others) on his blog all the time, leading to some very interesting insights into the world of SEO.

That’s it for this week, see you next week!

Joost's weekly SEO recap series

15 Responses to App interstitials, snippets & knowledge panel

  1. Mariaclara
    Mariaclara  • 5 years ago

    I’m planning to put snippets in my website, i don’t care about the ranking. I just need a potential buyer or costumer to view my site.

    Can anyone link how to put snippets in my website description?

  2. Hazekraze
    Hazekraze  • 5 years ago

    Thanks for the great stuff you keep on sharing with us. It helps us a lot.

  3. Ahmet Ali
    Ahmet Ali  • 5 years ago

    I don’t have enough knowledge about it. After reading of this I am able to understand it and I think it is a really amazing article. Thanks for sharing this with us.


  4. HL Family Lawyers
    HL Family Lawyers  • 5 years ago

    Hi Joost,

    Great post i would say. All the important topics at just one place, this is the best thing of Joost. The topics you share are always very impressive and informative. Again, thanks for sharing this with us.

  5. Jenna
    Jenna  • 5 years ago

    Ok!!! That’s something completely new to me!!! Like seriously ! I have seen some famous and big platforms with great PRs using app interstitial… Some seriously huge platforms with huge traffic.
    Apart from that, I thought rich snippets add a lot in your rankings. As they’s always recommended by Google and even have a separate head in webmaster.
    That’s kinda amazing that it never contributes to your website.

  6. ????? ???? ?? ????
    ????? ???? ?? ????  • 5 years ago

    great, thank you for this

  7. Jack
    Jack  • 5 years ago

    Rich Snippets can really increase your ctr, if you know how to use them to full potential. And once the user is on your webiste, if the content is compelling enough, and the bounce rate, low you could really boost your rankings by making your user happy, and making the site more helpful, rather than spamming it out.

  8. Mark E
    Mark E  • 6 years ago
  9. Amadeo Brands
    Amadeo Brands  • 6 years ago

    I have a question about popups. Apart from pop ups for installing an app etc… will other popups like subscribe to our news letter etc also effect ranking negative?

    On some of my site I use the Summon plugin to pop up a banner in an intelligent way when people read my blog post.
    Is this good or bad?

  10. Nigel Abery
    Nigel Abery  • 6 years ago

    If they already have a mobile friendly website, why have an annoying app prompt that comes up every time. Why should I need to install an app instead of viewing a mobile friendly site. If I need to install some many apps it just slows down / fills up my mobile device.
    For some changes google make I can’t see the logic. But I think that google did something good with this one.

  11. Michele
    Michele  • 6 years ago

    Finally, interstitials. Next? That horrible popup that appears after few seconds you are on a website asking you to join/like/subscribe. I find ok the popup when you are leaving the page, but when you are just arrived? No thanks.

  12. Gregory
    Gregory  • 6 years ago

    About mobile apps.
    It is quite logical from Google’s point of view. Dedicated mobile apps are hurting their advertising business.

  13. Don Hesh
    Don Hesh  • 6 years ago

    About Rich snippets.
    It helps to get more relevant visitors.
    Relevant visitors = Lower bounce rate
    Lower bounce rate = higher Rankings
    So, It helps to improve rankings.

    • Matt Roberts
      Matt Roberts  • 6 years ago

      Agreed! But i think technically the fact remains – it’s NOT a ranking signal. But it’s been fun watching blogs beat this horse to death these last few weeks :)

  14. Jeremy Myers
    Jeremy Myers  • 6 years ago

    So just to be clear, Google is still using Rich Snippets to show results on the SERPs, but they are just not a ranking factor? I thought I read somewhere that they are often ignoring the Rich Snippets as well and just making their own.