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Google’s Mobile Intrusive Interstitials Penalty Is Out And Here Something You Need To Know

January 17th, 2017

Google intrusive interstitials
Google is strictly concentrating on providing better user experience wide throughout its search results i.e. it only wanted to display what the user want and searches for. To make its search results user oriented, Google regularly updates its algorithms and changes it best practices accordingly. A couple of years back – to give a hype to the mobile searches – Google launched the mobile-friendly label and last year, mobilegeddon took its stage where the mobile websites were given priority in the search engine results page (SERP).

As a measure of bringing in more relevant results for the users, Google rolled out mobile intrusive interstitials penalty on January 10th, 2017. This penalty defaults pages that have extraneous content that appear over the relevant information that the user has been looking for.

So, what is an Intrusive Interstitial?

In straightforward words, Intrusive Interstitials are popup ads that tend to block most of or all the content of a web page resulting in a bad user experience for both the desktop and mobile users. These types of ads frustrate the user as it hides the content of the page that the user intended to look. But, there is an exemption to this rule when the ads are legally required notifications. Here are some of the cases of this annoying popups:

  • These interstitials sometimes cover most or all of the pages’ content.
  • These popups are not responsive as it sometimes makes it difficult for the mobile users to close it.
  • Sometimes, the interstitials pop ups all of a sudden surprising the mobile user which is little annoying. It is becoming unethical when not triggered by an action.

Then, why are intrusive interstitials being targeted?

Many users find the popups more annoying as they hide the content what they have been looking for. But, why are they being used in web pages even though the users find them to be irritating? They are effective. WHAT? Yes. A recent study of nearly 15 billion popups showed that there is approximately 3.08% conversion. A couple of years back, the mobile searches started trending, and last year, the traffic went on to 56% beating the number of searches on the desktop. Marcus Andrews, a senior product marketing manager at HubSpot, said, “Marketers are always looking for hacky ways to increase traffic and conversion rates, and every once in a while, Google needs to make a correction to improve the user experience.”

As always, Google is focusing more on giving seamless user experiences and mobile-friendly interfaces. Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project and this project are proof of the above statement as it wanted to the users enjoy hassle-free experiences on mobile devices. Google has clearly stated that it is looking only for interstitials that land between the search link and the web page and not on interstitials that pop-ups when users try to close a tab or something similar that annoys the users.

Then, what are the intrusive interstitials that are likely to be penalized?

Google stated that it would be penalizing interstitials that are likely to annoy users and now, there are three types of interstitials in the radar that are sure to get penalized.

  • Regular Popups: These popups are seen wide across many websites. They block the entire content of the website but allows see-through the sneak peak of the particular web page.
  • Standalone Popups: These interstitials sits above the header of the web page forcing users to scroll down to read the content they have been looking for.
  • Full-screen Standalone Popups: These popups are similar to the regular pop-ups, but they don’t show any preview of the below content and is something akin to the standalone popups.

Last week, Google had officially confirmed the roll out of its intrusive mobile interstitial penalty and the webmasters haven’t claimed any issue till now.

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