In 2016, Google announced that it will devalue pages with intrusive pop-ups (also known as interstitials) starting January 10, 2017. The search giant said that pages with intrusive interstitials may not rank as highly in search results because these pop-ups do not make content easily accessible to users.
January 10th has come and gone, with Google staying true to its word and implementing this newest ranking signal:
“January 10, 2017 update: Starting today, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as high. As we said, this new signal is just one of hundreds of signals that are used in ranking and the intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.”
Has your site been affected since Google’s roll out of its mobile interstitials penalty? We’ve got insights in our latest #SEJSurveySays poll results.
According to a survey sent out to Search Engine Journal’s Twitter audience, 51% say they have not felt the effects of Google’s mobile interstitials penalty, while 43% don’t know yet, and 6% say they have.
It seems that the extent of this latest penalty hasn’t been widespread, with a large percentage still unsure or not feeling the effects based on our survey. This may be due to Google needing to do a fresh crawl of the web before a considerable impact is seen:
— Gary Illyes ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ (@methode) January 17, 2017
If you have been affected and you’ve taken action to remove the intrusive pop-ups on your page, you may need to wait until Google recrawls your page to remove the demotion in your rankings. You can also use Google Search Console’s Fetch and Submit tool to submit individual pages and get a head start on your page recrawl.
Note that pop-ups that allow users to choose their country or preferred language are being considered as intrusive interstitials. So you might want to look for an alternative way to present these options to users, such as using hreflang or switching to a banner.
Resources on Mobile Interstitials Penalty
Need more info on Google’s mobile interstitials penalty? Look no further because we’ve got you covered:
- Learn more about what counts as an intrusive interstitial to help you decide if your site is at risk
- Listen to this Marketing Nerds podcast and find out how to check if your site has been affected by the mobile interstitials penalty
- Still unprepared? This post by SEJ’s resident news writer, Matt Southern, can help you get ready for the mobile interstitials penalty.
Have Your Say
Have you already felt the effects of Google’s mobile interstitials penalty? Tag us on social media and have your say in the next survey by checking out the hashtag #SEJSurveySays on Twitter for future polls and data.