This post was most recently updated on August 30th, 2019
Popup ads. Everyone’s been annoyed and even frustrated by one at some point in their lives. It can really be offputting to be interrupted by some ad in the middle of consuming digital content. It’s even worse when it happens on the tiny screen of a mobile phone. A lot of times you can’t even close the popup ad and you just end up leaving the site and never coming back.
And this is exactly why a Google algorithm update will take effect on January 10 to penalize mobile websites with popup ads. Yup, if you’ve got a mobile site running popup ads then you’re most likely going to see your rakings go down. Google has actually announced this way earlier back in August 2016. You can check it out here.
According to Google, they are doing it because:
“Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller.”
To be clear, though, they’re not penalizing all popups. Below are examples of techniques that will cause a mobile site to get penalized:
Honestly, we think it’s about time these changes have been implemented. Unwanted popups don’t help in user experience and it doesn’t help anyone in the end. Unless of course this was a popup ad perfectly timed and offering something a user is begging for.
But it’s rare that these things happen and even then there are other ways to serve users an offer. We’ll talk more about that in the future. For now, if you’ve got a mobile website running popups then make some changes!
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