Google may penalise sites that use annoying pop ups
Google has today announced that they will start to penalise sites that use “intrusive interstitials”, starting from January 10th 2017.
Penalties for sites
Google has explained that they may potentially penalise sites that use these intrusive pop-up ads. Google is a service and it needs to best reflect what users want – and what they want is sites without pop-up ads.
While the underlying content is present on the page and available to be indexed by Google, content may be visually obscured by an interstitial. This can frustrate users because they are unable to easily access the content that they were expecting when they tapped on the search result.
While Google has not explicitly stated that pop-ups will cause you to be landed with a penalty, they have said that sites that use these tactics “may not rank as highly.”
Google gave examples of intrusive interstitials that were deemed “problematic”, as well as some that are acceptable – for example, pop-ups that ask about cookies or other legal obligations, login dialogs, or banner ads that are dismissable and use a reasonable amount of screen space.
What does this mean?
When considering this news, brands need to be careful of what sort of pop-ups they currently have on their sites. It’s not yet clear what size these “intrusive interstitials” will have to be to net you a penalty, but we are sure that will come with time.
Either way, we currently have 3 months of development time to remove any sort of pop-ups from sites, before penalties are dished out hard and fast in January. Google has a history of handing out a few major penalties in the first few months of a big update, in order to show that they mean business – so the important lesson here is not to be on the receiving end of those penalties.