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Google are penalising websites with intrusive interstitials

Google are penalising websites with intrusive interstitials

The latest Google penalty comes as a bit of a good surprise – Google are penalising websites with intrusive interstitials:

It’s no secret Google are constantly updating their algorithms to accommodate for users and give them the best experience possible. After all, the sole purpose of Google’s existence is for the user to get to where they need to be whilst having the best experience possible.

In light of this, Google are penalising websites with intrusive interstitial.

Hooray, finally a win we can all get behind (intrusive interstitial ads are annoying for the most part)!

What are interstitials?

Before we carry on, a small portion of you are probably making this face right about now:

Chris Rock huh
So, let me show you exactly what interstitials are. Ever seen something like this pop up when you’re trying to browse a website on your mobile?

Interstitial Ad Example
They can either come in ad form, or could be some sort of legal notice or requirement (ie cookies usage or age verification).

RELATED: Want to become a Google search master? <- Then click to begin your quest!

What counts as “intrusive”?

Glad you asked! Google have issued this official statement:

“Although the majority of pages now have text and content on the page that is readable without zooming, we’ve recently seen many examples where these pages show intrusive interstitials to users. 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…To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.”

The following Image gives you a visual representation of what’s not okay:

Bad Google Interstitial Ads

Making your content “less accessible to a user” makes you vulnerable to a penalty. Furthermore, here are examples Google gave:

  • Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.
  • Displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
  • Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.

As aforementioned, if there is a legal interstitial, you’ll be fine. Heck, even having an ad that’s reasonably placed is fine, just stray from being intrusive.

Good Google mobile interstitials

Again, they have gone on to add more detail:

  • Interstitials that appear to be in response to a legal obligation, such as for cookie usage or for age verification.
  • Login dialogs on sites where content is not publicly indexable. For example, this would include private content such as email or unindexable content that is behind a paywall.
  • Banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible. For example, the app install banners provided by Safari and Chrome are examples of banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space.

Remember to comply because businesses have already seen ranking lost. It’s been a long time coming and Google are penalising websites with intrusive interstitials so it’s time to get with the standard and comply! Give us a call on 0121 285 1100 and dial extension 1 or simply email us at Hello@Wow-Zone.Com and let’s talk. We can drive your business in the right direction ensuring you’re penalty free. Pick up the phone or email today!

Do you think this was a good play by Google? Comment below!

Qasim Majid About the author
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7 years ago

I do not like such popups and usually leave the site and look for one offering a less annoying experience.

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