It has been confirmed by Google, that they have rolled out a new algorithm update dated January 10. In this update
it was announced to penalize mobile websites that have intrusive pop-up ads. Not only will this update penalize websites
that show pop-up ads before a user can see the website content, but pop-ups that also collect data.
We all know how irritating the pop-ups can be and most of you may not even use them on your existing websites, but I feel
duty bound to make you aware and to let your clients know of this new regulation. Google has specified that the algorithm
will drop your Google search rank if it detects the pop-ups on your websites.
Google is trying to target “problematic transitions” and gave three examples of pages that would be affected by the update.
Pages that show a pop up that opens up right after a user clicks a link and hides the pages content. Pages that show
interstitial ads that appear over the content and have to be closed before the content is revealed will result in being
penalized along with content “under the fold” with an ad above it.
Google did make a note that “small” pop ups will not be affected by the new update, but it is not specified what Google
classes as a “small” pop up.
There are a few caveats to the new update. The new rule applies only to the first click on a page from Google. Once you’re on a web page, there are no penalties if you encounter
the ads following another link. Also, Google will not downrank web pages that use legally required interstitials, like those needed to verify age.
A statement from Google said “Although the majority of pages now have text and content on the page that is readable
without zooming, we’ve recently seen many examples where these pages show intrusive interstitials to users. While
the underlying content is present on the page and available to be indexed by Google, content may be visually obscured
by an interstitial. This can frustrate users because they are unable to easily access the content that they were
expecting when they tapped on the search result.”
Business owners and freelancers make sure you take note and adjust your clients websites accordingly.