At the beginning of the age of the internet, there was one thing that remained constant. Pop-up ads. They were used by marketers and businesses to capture the user’s attention and hopefully compel them to take action and click on the ads. While this may benefit the business, it did not help the user experience. Pop-up ads appeared everywhere, making it difficult for users to read content on the internet.
Nowadays, these types of ads have made their way back into the current age. They are now referred to as interstitial ads. You can learn more about these ads and how to use them in this article effectively.
In this article
- What Are Interstitial Ads?
- What Are The Penalties For Using Interstitial Ads?
- Penalty Exceptions In Interstitial Ads
- Best Practices For Interstitial Ads
- What are the Benefits of Interstitial Ads
- Importance Of Interstitial Ads
- Related Reads
What Are Interstitial Ads?
Interstitial ads are one of the most popular forms of online advertising. You can see many of them while browsing a page on your desktop, but the most common ones can be found on smartphones. Mobile interstitial ads usually pop up during a game. They are usually placed in the user journey, like in the middle of a game.
The difference between interstitial ads and pop-up or banner ads is that interstitial ads cover the entire screen with content.
Interstitial ads come in many different formats, including text, rich media, and video ads. An interesting fact about them is that they are immune to ad blockers, unlike other ads. Instead, the user is met with two options: click on the ad and go to the advertised page or close the ad once the timer stops. Most interstitial ads have a set time limit of 5 or 10 seconds, after which the exit icon appears. The timing depends on the type of ad.
For example, for non-video interstitial ads, there usually isn’t timing, whereas most video interstitial ads have a timing of 5 seconds or more, after which the exit icon will appear. Another option is to quit the application as long as the user is okay with unsaved changes in the game.
What Are The Penalties For Using Interstitial Ads?
Many businesses online make ad revenue through advertising, making it all the more strange for Google to penalize them. But, Google does penalize businesses for certain ads. Google has policies, which they use as guidelines to determine which ads are harmful to the internet and the user experience. Google does not like ads that are obtrusive, unsafe, and irrelevant to the content.
Google has mentioned in its ad policy it seeks to create a healthy ecosystem for advertising. Ads must be transparent, trustworthy, and useful for advertisers, publishers, and users. This is because many sites have too many ads, especially on mobile devices with full-screen ads.
In 2017, Google released an update that stated penalties for mobile interstitial ads would be given. The penalties include:
- Displaying pop-up ads that cover up a site’s primary page. Ads that pop up immediately after the user navigates to a page after clicking on it in the search results, or ones that appear when the user scrolls a page, will also be penalized.
- Display ads that block the user from accessing the site, including ads that give access to the page only after the user has clicked on it.
- Page layouts appearing above-the-fold part of the page while keeping the original content in line with the ad. This will also block the user’s view and make reading the page’s content difficult.
If a website is found guilty of doing the above, it will be penalized by Google. This means that if a page has intrusive ads that prevent users from viewing the content, it won’t rank high in the search results. Google expects pages to have ads that are non-intrusive and comply with their policy of healthy advertising.
Penalty Exceptions In Interstitial Ads
Some interstitial ads are penalized by Google, but a few are not. Interstitial ads benefit those who use them wisely and thereby escape Google’s penalty. App developers who are looking to make revenue from games and sites are the beneficiaries in this case. Penalty exceptions include:
1. Cookie Usage Interstitial Ad
This is one type of ad you see almost everywhere. Some websites will require the user to accept cookies in order to view the website. They come in the form of banner ads when a user clicks on the page from the search results and navigates to the website.
These ads are acceptable by Google and mandatory in some parts of the world. Since they are not advertising any type of product or service, they are acceptable. Cookie usage ads are more like agreeing to the terms and conditions of the website and giving them your consent.
2. Age Verification Interstitials
As the name implies, these types of ads pop up if the page requires the user to be of a certain age to access the website and its contents. Websites that contain adult content and alcohol will require the user to enter their date of birth to verify their age.
Many countries worldwide give these types of ads permission and even make them mandatory.
3. Page-To-Page Interstitials
These are the ads that come up when the user is moving through a website’s pages. As long as they cannot be found in the search results, it is permissible for websites to use them.
Best Practices For Interstitial Ad
From the above examples, it has become quite clear that interstitial ads, when done properly, are permissible by Google. Here are some of the best ways to make the most of them.
1. Make User Experience a Priority
When placing interstitial ads, it is important to give priority to the user experience. It is best to place at the natural points of a website and its pages. For example, ads that suddenly appear out of nowhere are frowned upon, while the ones that appear on a broken page or at places where the user has to click on the continue option to move further are seen as more natural.
2. Use The Appropriate Number Of Ads
Using too many interstitial ads can mess up the user experience and force people to leave the website. Knowing where to place the ads is not enough; it is equally important to determine how many to display. Intrusive advertisements are one of the biggest reasons mobile users delete apps or games.
So, if you are placing an interstitial ad, do not use too many, as it can lower the retention rate of users. Also. keep in mind about the frequency of the these ads. This is especially true for interstitial video ads and banner ads.
3. Use Exit Buttons
When implementing interstitial ads, it is vital to allow the user to exit them if they want to. Using ads that cannot be exited will generate a penalty from Google, reduced rankings in SEO, and lead to users uninstalling the mobile app, game, or page they view.
To make things more simple, follow these guidelines to make the ads unobtrusive on mobile apps and pages.
- Show the users how long the ad will last.
- Give users the ability to skip ads.
- Allow users to exit ads.
- Users must be able to see the exit button visibly and not be hidden beneath some sort of camouflage or objects placed deliberately to hide them.
4. Follow Google’s Guidelines For Interstitial Ads
Google has given points that need to be considered when using interstitial ads. The points are similar to the ones given here, but it is always better to check with Google to see if you are on the right track. Their guidelines will also help advertisers to learn more about the factors that can affect these ads, like complications in the carrier network.
What Are The Benefits Of Interstitial Ads?
Using interstitial ads gives you the following benefits.
- They are comprehensive and not restricted to just text ad formats. You can even combine text and videos.
- They allow for more engagement with the audience.
- The user interface and the impressions are high. These ads are typically displayed all over the screen, increasing viewability.
- It can be used on multiple platforms and applications. Initially, they were limited to just mobile advertising, but now they can be found on desktops when browsing websites and content.
- These types are also most likely to catch people’s attention a lot more than regular ads.
Importance Of Interstitial Ads
Ads are everywhere on the internet, and there is no changing that. However, many of them make no sense to the content we watch, and most of them are annoying. On the flip side, many businesses use money from their ad revenue to run their company. This means that companies must pay more attention to the type of ads they display, especially interstitial ones. Done properly, they can be very profitable but don’t rely on them too much as they can be irritating to the user.
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