That Awesome Popup On Your Website—Get Rid Of It!

As the Google algorithm continues to evolve, mobile search remains the center of attention. In a blog post on the Webmaster Central Blog, Google stated that they are taking a more active interest in ‘helping users find the content they are looking for.’ Allow me to translate.

Google is Penalizing Website with Intrusive Mobile Pop-up Ads 

Does your website show a pop-up ad, a welcome mat, or similar offer when a user enters your website on a mobile device? If the answer is yes, it is time to consider a change.

To make content easier to find, Google will now penalize websites that display “annoying mobile interstitials.” Interstitials are those pop-up ads I mentioned above. If you have ever been to Forbes’ website, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

As defined by, an interstitial is:

An advertisement that loads between two content pages.

One of the most common interstitials is the pop-up ad. Another emerging format is a full-page ad that interrupts sequential content, forcing exposure to the advertisement before visitors can continue on their content path.

Interstitials are a form of interruption marketing [and] often draw an above average amount of response and resentment. The high response rates typically translate into higher CPM rates. The high level of resentment may translate into consumer backlash, although the exact long-term effects are unclear.

These Pop-up Ads Work Great, So What’s The Problem?

If these strategies have proven highly effective for many businesses, why is Google doing this? The answer is simple: Accessibility and Intent.

The user didn’t click on your link to look at an ad or offer. That was not their intent. They clicked to look at what the page has to say. Furthermore, by displaying a popover or welcome mat, the user must then navigate that feature of your site to access the content they want to see.

Annoying, eh?

What Can You Do About It? 

Moving forward, marketers will need to find new ways to showcase offers or encourage users to subscribe to an email list. Furthermore, although ‘annoying interstitials’ will be getting penalized, Google clarifies that there are non-intrusive ways to display offers that take up a ‘reasonable amount of screen space.’ Our solution, use them when the visitor is leaving your website.

Do you use techniques like this on your website? How have they worked for you? Let’s chat in the comments!

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