New Google Algorithm Update Goes After Pop-Ups

Posted by David Terry on August 25, 2016


Google is to start penalizing websites that feature intrusive pop-up ads - so you may want to update your Inbound Marketing and Inbound Website Design Plans.

Starting January 10, 2016, Google is updating the algorithms used to rank its search results so that offending pages are more likely to get lower placings, especially the more offensive full-screen, pop-ups on mobile devices.

Google is making an increasing amount of its revenue by placing ads on the mobile web. One expert said the company wanted to give users one less reason to use ad-blockers, which are becoming increasing popular, or search within apps instead.

So its time clean up your pop-ups, or your organic search traffic will plummet.

For its part, Google said the move should make using some of its results less frustrating.

"Pages that show intrusive interstitials [elements that cover the content] provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible," it blogged.

"This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller."

The company gave three examples of pop-up practices it wanted to discourage:

  • pop-ups that covered part of the main content when the user clicked on to a page
  • an intermediary webpage that had to be dismissed before the main content could be seen
  • an ad that filled the web browser's screen so users had to scroll down "below the fold" before they could see the material they wanted

Google will, however, make some exceptions. Pop-ups that alert readers to the use of cookies are still permissible, for example, as are ones that require log-in details to let visitors get behind a paywall.

Google said the change won't affect "responsible" techniques, such as smaller banner ads, or pop-ups in response to a legal sign-offs.

You can find more details about the Google Algorithm change by going to the Google Webmaster Central Blog.

We'll watch this roll-out closely as The Brit Agency uses pop-ups tactically for lead generation purposes, not as blatant and annoying ads, but as ways to help our client capture more email subscriptions, and as a method to help get leads via offering premium content.

All our clients can expect us to properly adjust our useage of pop-ups as a result of this upcoming Google algorithm change. 

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THE BRIT AGENCY is a B2B Inbound Marketing Agency providing Inbound Marketing, Inbound Website Design and Inbound Sales services to companies around the world. We're focused on growing website traffic, qualified leads and sales, using the Inbound lead generation and marketing automation process.

THE BRIT AGENCY is a certified Gold Tier Hubspot Partner, a HubSpot COS certified Inbound Website Design Agency, a Shopify eCommerce Partner, and a certified "Google Badged Agency Partner". We have offices in Toronto and Barrie, Canada, and Salisbury, UK.

Topics: Inbound Marketing, Inbound Website Design