Google’s product announcement has always been prioritizing on best user experiences. And Recent announcements can be seen focussed for mobile users.
Back in 2014, google announced, mobile friendly to be one of the factor for SERPs rankings. On August 23rd, google officially announcement states –
“Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller. 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.”
Not all the pop-ups are considered bad, so there are some specifics around which type of insterstitials Google considers to be disruptive to the user experience.
Some “Responsible interstitials” include:
– Interstitials that appear to be in response to a legal obligation, such as for a cookie usage or for age verification
– Login dialogs on sites where content is not publicly indexable.
– Banners that use a reasonable amount of space and are easily dismissable.
While “Intrusive interstitials” include:
– 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.
Google also indicated that any ranking penalty applied to a page with an interstitial running on it will apply only to that page and not the entire site.
Marketers/Companies relying on these interstitials for income will be directly impacted by this change. Fortunately, Google has provided plenty of time to create workarounds or modify existing interstitials so that they confirm with its new guidelines. However, as only the pages with these popup’s are affected, Marketers can still use their preliminary non organic tactics to drive traffic to these pages with popup’s if SEO isn’t relevant for it.