January 9, 2017

Penalty for Sites Using Pop-ups in Mobile Views Goes into Effect Jan. 10

Google announced last fall that it would begin imposing a penalty for websites using “interstitials” that significantly block content or impede the user experience in mobile views beginning on Jan. 10, 2017.

Interstitials, or "pop-ups", appear without a user taking any actions on the page, and can take on several appearances. A pop-up that takes over a full page, blocking all other content, can be used to prompt users to sign up for a newsletter, accept a cookie policy, or view an advertisement or other product offer. A less intrusive interstitial could be used at the top of a page or website or in the middle of a page for similar purposes.

Image source

Will this affect you?

If you’re using interstitials on your mobile site in a way that makes content less accessible, your website will be penalized in Google’s mobile search results starting tomorrow, Jan. 10. If you’re using an interstitial in an unobtrusive way, for instance to ask if a user is over 18 before entering a site that sells alcohol, or to prompt a user to review a privacy policy, your site will not be penalized according to Google.

What should you do?

If you’re unsure whether you are using these techniques on your website, check with your marketing or website development team to verify that your site is removing intrusive popups for mobile optimized views of your site as soon as possible. You can also contact Beacon Digital and we’ll review your site for free.

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