Websites with mobile pop-up ads will not be ranking as highly when the changes go into effect, starting January 10, 2017, Google announced this week.
The world’s largest search engine announced a change to its algorithm this week that affects mobile user experience – and how sites are treated and ranked. Google will be cracking down on what it call “interstitials” or mobile pop-up ads, as we know them.
What Google Says
According to Google’s official announcement, these pop-up ads provide a poor mobile user experience:
“Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible,” Google’s official announcement states. “This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller.
How Does Google Determine What Is A ‘Poor’ Experience?
Google clearly defined how sites can violate this new amendment to the algorithm:
- “Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.
- Displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
- Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.”
Who Is Affected By Google’s New Attitude To Mobile Pop-Ups?
This change in Google’s algorithm will primarily affect companies that make money off pop-up advertisement revenue.
These companies face a critical dilemma: Rank or profit. Taking a ranking hit on mobile can eviscerate numerous companies out there. A rising 51% of all digital traffic is viewed on a mobile device, according to the 2015 Internet Trends report. That same report indicated that 42% of all digital content is consumed on desktop. Trends suggest that number will continue to decrease.
5 Lessons We Learn From This Change In Google’s Algorithm
- Don’t rely on ad revenue from mobile pop-ups
- Prioritize user experience. Google’s latest updates emphasize UX and it’s been clear that they always put searchers first.
- Stick to a SEO plan and grow your business with organically-sourced leads.
- Gate your content behind a landing page instead and bring them to it via Google AdWords.
- Most of all, provide something special and valuable to users. They’ll never engage unless it provides some sort of value to them.
What are your thoughts about Google’s announcement? Leave a comment below.