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Google Removes Full-Screen Ads on Google+ Mobile Site

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There’s one thing that the majority of mobile device users really dislike about opening up a business’s mobile site: that annoying full-screen ad asking if they’d rather access the same site through the business’s mobile app instead of its mobile browser site.

And yes, even Google has been guilty of this non-user-friendly crime for years on end — but the company finally decided to put an end to it.

Google just announced that it would be getting rid of the full-screen ad that pops up on its Google+ mobile website, offering to direct users to the iOS App Store or the Google Play Store to download the Google+ app.

According to Tech Times and Search Engine Journal, Google conducted a survey for its Google+ feature, and found that a surprisingly small percentage of visitors — only 9% — actually downloaded the app after being invited to do so. Around 69% of users, Business Insider reported, actually abandoned the page altogether — meaning that these people didn’t opt to download the app, and they didn’t even continue onto the mobile site.

Google replaced the interstitial page on its search engine landing page last year, and replaced the full-screen ad with a small banner at the top of the screen; the results of this experiment were even more surprising, and Google found that its mobile site visits had increased by 17% in the first day alone.

Google+ developers have said that these past experiments and surveys are by no means exhaustive reports of mobile device user trends, but that the findings are enough to eliminate all interstitial page for the Google+ service.

The takeaway isn’t so much about Google’s decision to make the change — instead, it proves that usability is key when it comes to mobile apps, and that mobile app marketing is much more complicated than most app developers would prefer.

“Full page ads are perceived as intrusive by users,” says Ola Danilina, CEO/Founder, PMBC Group. “Banner ads are there if you want to click on them, but they do not take over the entire page. I believe that other businesses will follow Google’s footsteps. A better app marketing strategy is through a PR campaign which targets your ideal demographic, but does it through a non-invasive, non-salesy kind of way. It is done by relevant storytelling. Consumers get to read a story, relate to it, fully understand how others are using the app and then click to download. In our experience, these type of users end up being app’s most engaged user base.”

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