Google Penalties to be Handed Out for This 1 Thing

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Google Penalties to be Handed Out for This 1 Thing


As more and more people are using their smartphones to access the internet, Google is continuously striving to create a Mobile-First environment, introducing changes to enhance the user’s mobile experience. If websites fail to comply with these changes, it could result in  some serious Google Penalties. 

So if your website is heavy on interstitials, you have been warned: Effective January 10, 2017, Google will be penalising websites with “intrusive” advertisements by lowering their search rankings.

“Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages, where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller,” wrote Google in a recent blog post. “To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.”

Not too sure what interstitials are? Get familiar! According to Neil Patel from Quicksprout, “Interstitials will be huge in 2017.”

New Google Penalties January 10, 2017

While rankings depend on a multitude of factors such as Google’s algorithm, this new policy is something to seriously consider.

Among those that Google will be on the lookout for are:

  • Interstitials that cover the main content immediately after a user navigates to a specific landing page from the search results, or while the user is browsing through the page.
  • Standalone interstitials that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
  • Interstitials using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page looks like a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.

google penalties on popups

What interstitials are still okay?

Google says there will still be interstitials that will not be affected by the new policy. These are:

  • Interstitials needed to meet a legal requirement, such as those for cookie usage or for age verification.
  • Log-in dialogues on sites where content is not publicly indexable, such as emails or content behind a paywall.
  • Smaller banners at the top of the screen that use a “reasonable amount of screen space” and can be easily closed.

google penalties for unwanted popups

Will advertisers soon have to choose between a higher search ranking or the more lucrative interstitials? Not necessarily, says Google.

“…a page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.”

Content – and context – still rule, after all.

Contevo can help you avoid Google Penalties, track the progress and performance of your website, and optimise your SEO mobile strategy. 

Some of our recent results.

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