We had announced in August of last year that Google was planning a penalty to websites that display intrusive pop-up ads or interstitials which force users to interact with the advertising before accessing native content. If you are among those with a distaste for pop-up ads and interstitials while browsing the web on your cell phone, you can rest knowing that Google will be incentivizing website providers to show you fewer instances of this behavior, at least on mobile.
Google targets what they term “problematic transitions,” and as examples gave pages that show a pop up that opens immediately after a user interaction or scroll through a page. Google also tagged pages which display a full-page interstitial ad which must be closed before the user can see the real content, as well as pages that keep content below the initial viewport on mobile — located “under the fold” — with an interstitial on the top of the page. Google made a point to say that “small” pop ups will not be affected by the new algorithmic changes, however Google has not provided any specifications for a definition of “small”. To summarize, Google intends to punish any web page that intentionally does not display the content by hiding it behind an ad, or otherwise forces interaction with advertising,. At the moment these changes do only apply to mobile versions of a site, so desktop pages are safe — for now.
Keep in mind that this new rule is applies only to the landing page from Google — if you continue to interact with a webpage, there is no penalty for intrusive popups or interstitials on secondary pages reached by following another link. Additionally, Google will not penalize pages for using legally required interstitials, like those enforced to verify the age of the user.
Intrusive pop-ups ads or interstitials has never been a strategy we have recommended or used for our clients at Boston Web Marketing, and these algorithmic charges are a sort of validation for pursuing legitimate marketing techniques and methods to increase lead generation, conversion rate, and overall call volume for our clients’ businesses. If you are interested in discussing the services we can offer your business, contact a sales representative from Boston Web Marketing.