Last week, Google announced it will be rolling out a penalty in mobile search targeted at web pages featuring full-page interstitials (intrusive pop-up ads). This penalty will come into effect after January 10, 2017, and there has been some confusion as to whether or not AdSense Page-level ads will be affected.
The questions was asked on Twitter, and Google’s John Mueller gave a somewhat vague response:
@bonirulzz @googlewmc What's important to us is the effect as described in our blog post, no matter where it comes from.
— John Mueller (@JohnMu) August 28, 2016
The effect as described in Google’s blog post does not exactly apply to AdSense Page-level ads. There are two types of Page-level ads: anchor/overlay ads and vignette ads. Google’s official documentation describes anchor/overlay ads as: “mobile ads that stick to the edge of the user’s screen and are easily dismissible.”
Since anchor/overlay ads to not cover a user’s entire screen, there’s no discernible reason why pages featuring those ads should fall victim to Google’s upcoming penalty. For that matter, neither should vignette ads, which Google describes as being “displayed when the user leaves a page, rather than when they arrive on one, so the user doesn’t have to wait for them to load.”
With that being said, it should help clear up the confusion people may have about AdSense Page-level ads being affected by the interstitials penalty. While anchor/overlay ads appear immediately upon arrival, they do not cover the entire screen. Vignette ads do cover the entire screen, but only appear upon departure. Pages utilizing either type of ad should, in theory, be in the clear once the new penalty rolls out.