Google recently launched an update that pushing down websites in the mobile rankings if they use intrusive interstitials.
What are intrusive interstitials? Popup ads. They are ads that disrupt the user experience. Popup ads are annoying when you access a site on a desktop or laptop, but they are extremely frustrating when using a mobile. Popup ads are very difficult to close and navigate when visiting a site from a mobile device.
When are Popup Ads Okay?
Some types of popup ads are required by law, and these are okay in Google’s eyes. A good example of an acceptable popup ad is for a site selling alcohol that requires users to prove they are old enough to visit the website. These types of ads are required by law and should not be removed.
Reducing the User Experience
Google does not like intrusive ads that can be avoided and that distract the user from the content on the site. These ads might make it impossible for the visitor to continue on the site without closing down the popup or being forced to opt out of a form. An example of this intrusive type of ad is asking your visitor to sign up to your email list or like your Facebook page with a popup that takes half the page.
If you have popups like these it’s time to take action to avoid losing your rankings in mobile search. Here are three steps you can take:
- Take down the popup forms so they don’t show up for any of your mobile users
- Use smaller opt-in bars that take up less than a quarter of the space above the fold for mobile users
- Allow for popups to appear as the user ventures further into your website. Google is only concerned with the initial user experience. They are focused only on the page that they land on once clicking the result in search. However, it’s important to understand your visitors and test out their response to your popups through experimenting and A/B testing.
- Introduce ads that are more effective and based on the habits and preferences of your visitors.
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