Google crack down on Interstitials
What on Earth are Interstitials AND What Is Google Up to Now?
After 10th January 2017, they will be penalising any websites that use intrusive interstitials, you know those annoying pop-ups that appear over the page and stop you reading the content. They say “pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly”.
Eh? So what does this little bit of jargon mean, and what's it got to do with mobile?
Well, those pop-ups are mostly a pain for a reader who is using their mobile phone to look at a website. That's because, when there is a button (often an x) to shut down the nasty pop-up, so you can get on with reading the page, it's often hidden somewhere off the screen somewhere and lots of fiddling is needed to find it and close it down.
So Google's decided to close those down! It's not that surprising really if we just stop and think about what Google wants to achieve. Google wants good quality, up to date, relevant and easy to access information. Popups act as a little gate-keeper between the visitor and the juicy information, and the impact is worse on a mobile.
There are certain elements on a website that depend on popups, and that have nothing to do with marketing - the compliance with the Cookie laws is one of them. We will have to wait until the changes come into place to find out what Google will do about these.
Go and get the full details on Google's blog
What Does This Mean?
It means that if you want your website visitors to be able to read your website on their mobile phone, and given the statistics surrounding how many people do this, then you are very wise to ensure you have removed popups from your marketing process.
And that really isn't such a bad thing - they really are a pain in the bum. So many people can create fantastic content to publish on their website, but don't have the technical ability or cash to invest in popup add-ons, that we see this as yet another string to the bow of the savvy business owner who knows what their customers want and is ready to give it to them.
Test How Your Website Looks on a Mobile
Google has already said that it will penalise websites that do not deliver mobile friendly sites, in mobile search, which we wrote about before. (Check how your site performs with Google's Mobile Friendly test.) So when you place this with the announcement about a crackdown on intrusive interstitials, looks like a lot of weight being thrown at mobile search. But at the moment only time will tell.