Organic Mobile Pop-Up Penalities
Important Google News – Organic Mobile Pop-ups being Penalised
The Google crusade to make the internet more mobile friendly is continuing with important changes for website owners. First, it changed its crawling tests to rank websites first based on mobile friendliness rather than on desktops. Now its punishing intrusive pop ups that force users to enter in sign up details or click close before they can access content.
These pop-ups are also known as ‘interstitials’. These are pages or forms that appear before or after an expected page.
If Google crawls your site and finds it cannot access content straight away on a simulated mobile, because of an interstial, it will reduce your site ranking.
Google ranks you organically on both desktop and mobile, based increasingly via mobile friendliness. So this can have serious consequences on your organic traffic.
Around two thirds of website traffic typically comes from organic search results. Worse, around 1/3rd of people click the first link result. So being deranked will have big impacts on your traffic.
Before you panic, google literally uses hundreds of signals to determine site rank. The company has warned us off using excessive pop ups mid last year. But it is determined to further crack down on interstitials. So it is definitely something to think about.
The increased penalisation took effect from January 10th 2017. So you may already have experienced some changes in your site traffic.
Type of Interstitial Is Key – Does it Block Content From Being Viewed?
Not all ‘pop-ups’ are penalised however. As long as they fall under the ‘reasonable’ usage. Such would include legal noticifications that take up only a portion of the screen, or required by law. Googles search crawlers are smart enough to identify very intrusive pop-ups, such as those that fade out the content. Another type are those that suddenly expand taking up most of the page, and any which require moving the cursor to particularly tiny ‘x’ to close. So, you can keep a pop-up that uses only a reasonable amount of screen space, and is easy to close. There is no indication that pop-ups that show long after content has displayed or if you navigate away are yet an issue. And these may be of great value in getting email sign ups.
Ensuring your site is mobile and desktop friendly from Googles perspective is now vital to maintaining strong organic rankings.