Goodbye intrusive mobile popups - Google now penalizing mobile interstitials

11 January 2017

google

Do you love intrusive web popups on your mobile device? Of course not, and Google is aware of this. And with more websites being viewed on mobile devices than desktop computers, it was time for a change.

Today Google is implementing a new penalty for websites that use intrusive interstitials. While the announcement was made back in August 2016, Google gave website owners a period of almost 5 months to conform to the new guidelines, or risk a possible drop in search rankings.

What is an interstitial?

An interstitial is a web page that appears after or before an expected content page, and usually displays an advert (for example, download an app or sign up for a newsletter) or confirm a user's age (in case there are age-restricted materials).

These interstitials normally obscure the page content you are trying to view, which obviously resulted in a bad mobile user experiences. The new guidelines will ensure that each user is finding the content they want, while not being bombarded by intrusive popups and offers.

What is not allowed?

Here are examples from Google of interstitials that would be penalised under the new guidelines:

  • A popup that obscures the page’s main content – whether you navigated to there from search results or it appears while you are already on the site.
  • A standalone interstitial that has to be dismissed by users before they can view content.
  • A layout in which the whole screen is taken up by what appears to be a standalone interstitial, but it is actually just pushing the original content underneath the fold.

Visual examples:

popup-1

A popup that obscures most of the page content

popup-2

A standalone interstitial

popup-3

Another standalone interstitial

What is acceptable?

There are cases in which interstitials will not be penalized - if used responsibly:

  • Legal obligations – such as age verifications or cookie usage.
  • Logins to access content that is not publicly available or indexable – such as your email account or if you access content that can only be found behind a paywall.
  • Banners that take up a fair amount of screen space on mobile devices.
popup-4

Legal obligation – Cookie acceptance

popup-5

Legal obligation – Age Verification

popup-6

A small app-install banner

Remember that interstitials and popups for desktop browsers are not affected by any of the above changes to the Google guidelines.

Improving the Mobile Experience

Google has been making regular changes to ensure that developers create websites that are user-friendly on these smaller devices.

  • The most famous mobile change that Google made to their ranking algorithm was made in April 2015 and was dubbed “Mobilegeddon”. This update prioritised websites that were designed to be mobile-friendly.
  • Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) was launched in February 2016, an open source project that ensures content loads faster on mobile devices.
  • In September 2016 Google updated their website mobile-friendly test to test for app-install interstitials that block users from viewing content. Any websites that use large app-install interstitials are considered to be “not mobile-friendly”. The solution was banners that take up a small amount of mobile screen space.

In 2017 we will surely see mobile website usage surge even further ahead of desktop PCs. Following this trend, Google seems to be committed to making sure that web developers create websites that will enhance the mobile user experience.

» How Fake News is Fought (and how to spot it yourself)

Learn how to report fake news, and how to recognise which stories are false....

» 5 Reasons your website is not gaining traffic (and how to fix it)

Boost your natural web traffic by improving these 5 aspects of your site....

» 6 Tools to boost team collaboration and productivity

Keep track of your work projects with these helpful tools....

» The nuts and bolts of social media marketing

Learn more about social media marketing from these helpful guidelines...

» The helpful guide to Instagram for business

Set up your own Instagram for business account and grow an engaged following with these helpful guideline...

» 11 simple SEO tricks and tools for your new website

Follow these simple SEO tricks to help increase your new site's visibility ...

» The vibrant colour psychology behind web design

How the psychology behind colour association influences web design, and how that can impact on a site's success ...

» How not having a mobile-friendly site hurts your business

Mobile browsing has overtaken desktop as the number one choice for internet users ...

» What you need to know about Google's Fred Update

Google’s latest algorithm update ...

» What's happening on Social Media in 2017

We look at the recent changes and added features for your favourite social media platforms ...

» 7 Free tools and techniques to find long-tail keywords to boost your conversion rates

Your website is all set to conquer the web, but there might be a missing element ...

» Why Content Marketing is Important for Any Business

Why content marketing is important for any business ...

» What Mobile First Means for Your SEO

Users have gone mobile. Each and every year, studies are showing that ...

» How to Build Trust on Social Media

How to Build Trust on Social Media ...

» Goodbye intrusive mobile popups

Google now penalizing mobile interstitials ...

» The latest Google SEO Algorithm Updates

The latest Google SEO Algorithm Updates ...

» WhatsApp wants to share your data with Facebook (and how to opt out)

WhatsApp wants to share your data with Facebook ...

» Ten fascinating digital marketing stats from the last week

Ten fascinating digital marketing stats from the last week ...

» 10 Significant Digital Marketing Stats from last week

10 Significant Digital Marketing Stats from last week – 21 April 2016 ...

» Optimise your Email Campaigns for Conversions

8 Ways to Optimise your Email Campaigns for Conversions ...

» Facebook Reactions

How will Reactions change the Facebook experience? ...

» Improve Business Branding

10 Social Media Tips to Improve Business Branding ...

» Online Brand Management

5 Tips to Manage Your Online Reputation ...

» Ten Tips to Increase Blog Traffics

Ten Tips to Increase Your Blog Traffic and Visibility ...

» 10 Great Tips to Promote Your Blog

10 Great Tips to Promote Your Blog

» The Perfect Blog Post

How to Write the Perfect Blog Post ...

» Facebook Trends 2016

Facebook Trends 2016: One Social Network to Rule Them All ...

» Blogging for Business

8 Reasons why Blogging is important for your Businesses (and why you’re missing out) ...

» The Ultimate Web Design Checklist

Does your website have the essential elements to succeed? ...

» Digital Marketing

How Digital Marketing can Kickstart your eCommerce Sales ...

» What is Social Currency?

What is Social Currency and how can it help your eCommerce store ...

» Optimise your FB Account for Business

Facebook is the world’s favourite social media platform ...

» How to gain more instagram followers

Instagram is a big player in the social media market ...

» Panda Update

Panda Update may just be part of the new Google core Algorithm ...

» Ridding the web of spam

Google’s latest web browser, ‘Chrome’ was released in 2008 and ...

» Digital Marketing 2011

Digital shopkeepers are changing the face of the Internet and ...

» E-commerce Boosts Economy

For many London Web Design agencies, 2010 was the year of ...

» SEO: A short Introduction

In this “SEO Hierarchy of needs” effective keywords and ...

» To Design or Not ... (Part 1)

Knowing when it’s actually time to call on a professional could be ...

» To Design or Not ... (Part 2)

Web designers often fall into the habit of screen-to-screen ...

» Organic SEO

An efficient, sustainable marketing strategy is important ...

» Agile

A project management solution that encourages inspection ...

» Bing vs Google

Online Search Engine technology is continually evolving ...

» Ruby on Rails

An open source web application framework using Ruby ...

» WordPress

The more reputable small-scale website and blog package ...

» Grid Design

Mathematics is often closely related to the art of web design ...

» Drupal vs Joomla

Open Source CMS's can give a greater level of autonomy to users ...

» Google Page Rank

Page Rank is based on the principle of importance through connectivity ...

London

12 Stukeley Street
London
WC2B 5LQ

T: +44(0) 207 631 3366
F: +44(0) 207 692 2646

E.
Reg UK: 05806347
VAT Reg No: 912 5835 27

Cape Town

502 Buitenkloof Studios
8 Kloof Street, Gardens
Cape Town, 8001

T. + 27 21 424 2797
T. + 27 21 424 2829

E.

Perth

Unit 2, Crossways Shopping Centre
Cnr Rokeby Road and Bagot Road
Subiaco,
WA 6008

T: +61 (0) 42 777 0294


E.
Lilo

more info please email us at or call us on +44 (0) 207 631 3366

Lilo London Lilo Cape Town Lilo Perth