Google Penalizes Websites That Use Pop Ups For Better User Experience

Often you might have been irritated by the unpleasant and abrupt advertisements that pop up every now and then when you open a certain website and the home page or the clicked link is still downloading. These are colloquially known as pop up ads.

These have consumed a large proportion in affiliate marketing, where in a website having high incoming traffic displays pop up adds for subscription, sign in, review etc. asking for the sensitive information in return for providing extended features to the users.

However, these hamper the user experience significantly. This is a reason why pop up ads have now been classified to add to the devaluation of a website, dropping it down in the search engine results.

Pop up ads are technically known as interstitials (an advertisement that appears while a chosen website or page is downloading). These interstitials are very common on websites that have their business thriving on clothes, books, travel deals, home products, furniture, electronics, recharges, hotel rooms etc.

You might have noticed square boxes of a different color drawing your attention towards the lucrative offer that they have for you like – “50% on trip to Dubai – Use Coupon code %#@” or inciting you to have a word with the advisers on the other side of the website – “Have a Question? We shall answer it. Send us your queries and e – mail.”

Ahhhh. These are so very annoying that they user either ends up clicking the back button and looking for the next website in the search engine results or the user has to close these pop up adds that suddenly appear and block the main content before they could go through it.

Google’s New Guideline

The things are still bearable if the pop-up ads are used by websites for marketing and/or advertising their own products, offers, deals and other exchanges. Often, there is a pop-up that asks you to add the extension of a certain XYZ application to your browser or clicking on the link to avail this benefit, promoting a third party website. This is far more infuriating as they seem to be intruding the browsing experience and increasing the time that a user takes to grab the information he wishes to.

Google, making a considerable and appreciable effort in the direction of providing a fruitful user experience to the people has announced to drop down the rankings of those websites that use large pop-up ads or have low user staying time on them. It has mentioned that the interstitials that fall prey to any of the three mentioned forms of encroachment shall be penalized.

  • Demonstrating a popup that covers the primary content, either as soon as the user opens the page from the indexed lists, or while is looking through the page.
  • Showing an independent interstitial that the client needs to close before getting to the primary content.
  • Utilizing a design where the over the-overlay bit of the page seems like an independent interstitial.

There is a clause which says that interstitials that provide useful information such as a legal obligation (such as for cookie usage or for age verification), or login details (where the contents on the website are not public) or banners (that do not consume much screen space) shall not be penalized. Also, this penalizing will first affect the websites that are opened mostly on smart phones, for their screen is already small and the pop-up ads add to the reduced visibility of the primary content.

This is good news for us that the Google updates would enhance the mobile browsing experience by several times. However, the websites would be suffering as their right to trap users in their lucrative offers shall be curbed. The changes are already in effect now, and it’s time the websites must look out for alternatives.

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Amit Mishra

Amit Mishra

Amit Mishra, the co-founder of Media Search Group, loves to pen down about marketing and designing. Be it search engine optimization(SEO) tips and strategies, Social Media Optimization, Increasing Engagement, and Traffic Score, Web Design and Development, Mobile Applications, Conversion/Sales, he covers it all. Been in the business for a long time, Amit Mishra knows some of the best strategies on how to expand and grow a Business Online.