Here is a good news for all the mobile users. If you are terribly upset with the bad experience you have while surfing websites in mobile due to its disturbing and useless pop-up ads, Google has announced that it is going to penalise specified intrusive mobile pop-ups or what is technically termed by Google as “interstitials”.
Google is often accustomed to algorithmic changes but this time it has made the changes taking the users and their experience into consideration. Better usability is what the Google prefer the most.
When mobile friendly label was added by Google, slowly the technology saw a major shift wherein majority of the search engines optimized themselves into mobile centric. Due to this shift, the Search engine ranking was highly affected. The pages with pop-ups started ranking high and gave revenue to the marketers whose sole business depended upon this pop-up ads. But due to this announcement now these pages are no longer going to enjoy higher ranking and is going to suffer a lot.
Google has mentioned that only those type of interstitials that disrupts the user experience is going to be penalized and not the one which is allowed to do so as per law. The page having the following interstitials would be penalised and rank low in search engines:-
★ intrusive pop-ups – where the pop-ups covering the main content of the page immediately popups as soon as the page is clicked or while looking through the page.
★ intrusive standalone interstitials – where the user need to dismiss the popup before accessing the main content or when the popup looks like the page layout but the main content is hidden beneath it.
It must be highlighted that interstitials with permission for cookies usage, for age verification, and banner that uses a reasonable screen space of the page that does not disrupts the users experience won’t be crushed down and not affect the page ranking too. We can say that the Google will decide whether the ads are acceptable or not because the reasonable screen space is not defined clearly.
Earlier Google notified usability of websites with full page ads but now it is not certain whether this announcement is applicable to full page ads or not.
It is a general phenomena that if any announcement is benefiting someone, it is definitely going to be a huge drawback for someone else. All the companies who earn revenue only through these interstitials are the one going to face hurdles. Since more than fifty percent of the internet users operate through mobile hence losing SEO traffic would destroy these companies. Either they lose their ad revenue or their visitors.
Now the option these publishers have is to either change their revenue model or plan a way out which while advertising does not make the user experience poor. As a SEO providing company we highly recommend to all the business firms and even follow ourselves the principle of replacing interstitials with providing valuable content to our end users to enrich the user experience. This will on one end give site visitors what they are looking for and on the other, increase the traffic to your site.
A post by Rima Chhajer. 12th Sep, 2016.