The Impact of Google’s Mobile Intrusive Interstitials Penalty
DIY Sprocket Solutions
Google announced that they would be applying penalties to sites that utilize problematic interstitial ads for visitors. These are ads that pop up and take up a considerable amount of screen space. At times, especially on mobile devices, these ads can be nearly impossible to get around. It’s something that site visitors complain about and get frustrated with time and again. Google has decided to penalize the offending sites by dropping their ranking on the search engine.
Now that Google’s mobile intrusive interstitial penalty has gone live, some sites have dropped more than ten spots in a day. They have given several examples of what these types of ads look like and which are problematic. The ads that they are applying consequences for are those that make the content less accessible. They are the ads that are intrusive. The exception to this rule would be interstitials that pop up for legal obligation –such as age verification, cookie usage, or log in dialogues on sites where the content isn’t publicly indexable.
The penalty also only impacts intrusive interstitials that occur right when a visitor goes from the Google mobile search result to that specific page. This is not a penalty that impacts or reaches pages after that. For those that have these types of interstitials that pop up later on other pages of their website, they won’t be impacted.
Here are the types of interstitials that Google explained will be targeted:
- Popups that cover the main content of the page. This includes interstitials that pop up either immediately after the visitor arrives at the page from the search results or while they are still looking through that same page.
- Standalone interstitial ads that visitors have to dismiss before accessing the main content.
- Layouts where the above-the-fold portion of the main content page looks like a standalone interstitial ad. Users would then have to look underneath the fold for the actual main content.
These types will not be affected as long as they are used properly:
- Interstitials that pop up for legal obligation. These include cookie usage, age verification and more.
- Login dialogs. This is for sites with private content, like email for example, where content is not publicly indexable.
- Banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space are allowed. They have to be easy to dismiss as well.
As a business with an online presence, your ranking on Google is exceptionally important. If you are using interstitial ads on your site, particularly your main content page, you should change or remove these ads as soon as possible so that your ranking is not severely affected.
What do you think of Google’s new mobile intrusive interstitials penalty? As a website visitor, is this a huge positive? As a website owner, how do you think this will impact you? What are your thoughts? Comment below!