Google today announced two major changes related to its mobile search results. The one you’ll probably notice first is that Google is removing the “mobile-friendly” label that highlighted pages that were easy to read on mobile from its mobile search results pages.
In the long run, though, the second change may be more wide-reaching: starting on January 10, 2017, the company will start punishing mobile pages that show intrusive interstitials when a user first opens a page and they will rank lower in its search results.
Why is Google removing the mobile-friendly label? According to Google’s own data, 85 percent of all pages it shows on its mobile search results pages are now mobile-friendly. So to declutter the results pages, it’s removing the label, even as it continues to use it as a ranking signal.