A Quick Look at Mobile Interstitial Google Penalty Update

January 17, 2017 A Quick Look at Mobile Interstitial Google Penalty Update By Gaurav Madan

In August 2016, Google announced that it would penalize and start rating down pages with interstitials/intrusive pop-ups in mobile searches. And, it’s already in place as, it was stated that it will be executed after Jan 10, 2017.

The reason behind lowering such pages is obvious as interstitials cover up the entire screen hiding the main content – the users expect to see thus, leading to a poorer and frustrating user experience. It is an annoying experience because pages do not immediately display the content as expected by users.

Before the update, site owners had ample time to prepare for the update. Now, going forward Google recommends implementing interstitials on mobile pages that cover up only a “reasonable” extent of screen space. Here’s an illustration of reflecting the correct usage of interstitials;

Do Your Pop-ups Serve a Purpose or Meet Users’ Objective?

Advice by Ben Silverman from Brafton Marketing;
“Think like Google, whose ultimate purpose is to enhance the user experience by making the internet more intuitive, browsable, and accessible, specifically, for mobile browsers. This implies Google’s pop-up policies involve some exceptions: If your interstitial offers honest, real purpose, the probability is you will not be penalized.

The gist: Acceptable pop-ups comprise one required by law, such as age verification, and a small banner at the top(that doesn’t distract from the main content on page) as shown in the above picture.

Ad Publishers Need to Start Looking for New Alternatives;

A piece of advice shared by Verge;

For most of the part, Google is focusing on overlays that hide the content beneath them to forbid you from reading the main website content, either for a few seconds or until you find and dismiss the little X right over the interstitial. So, marketers need to initiate reconsideration of their marketing strategy – businesses that depend on advertiser dollars should analyze ways that don’t entirely disrupt the mobile user experience.

The gist: Google uses its own intelligence to give you desired results via featured snippets. Rather than disrupting the mobile user experience site owners must adapt and look for non-intrusive ways to generate revenue.

Create Content Marketing Strategy for Making Money;

The advice shared by Sitepoint:
Constant content creation and distribution aids in attracting and engaging users without hitting them with a hard-sell stick. Content pieces such as guides, PDFs, videos, blog posts, info-graphics, round-ups, and more – can be promoted to educate audiences and mentor them through the buying process.
The gist: As, the objective of Google’s interstitials penalty is to simplify content accessibility, and put it to use for your advantage. So, creating a content marketing strategy works better, rather than interfering with pop-up advertisements.

Mobile-friendly Tag Works No More for Sites, But, Being Mobile-Friendly Still Matters;

The advice shared by OptinMonster:
As stated by Google, post-January 10, 2017 – the “mobile-friendly” label will be removed in search results as, in mobile searches, this criterion is being met by 85% of all pages; so, they will be erasing this label for everyone.
The gist: Intrusive interstitials are no longer considered as, mobile-friendly; however, no need to panic if the “mobile-friendly” label is not displayed in content search results. This label is erased for everyone but, still being “mobile-friendly” matters.

Wrapping It Up:

Google’s main intent behind releasing these updates is to enhance user experience. Site owners may find it difficult in the initial phase to adjust to such changes. However, in the long run, it will lead to more time on site, more page views per visit, and a lowered bounce rate.

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Gaurav Madan

About Author

Gaurav is working on various verticals like IT & Software Solutions | Digital Marketing | E-Commerce | BPO | Outsourcing | Offshoring | Global Deliveries | Exports | Education. Gaurav believes in CHANGE, which is constant throughout the LIFE so be with the CHANGE Gaurav is having, In-depth experience in IT Solutions, Offshoring, Internet Branding, Sales & Marketing, Managing New Projects & Processes, Solution Designing and Transitioning of New International and Domestic business engagements. Proficient at managing & leading teams to run successful operations & experienced in developing procedures, service standards, client satisfaction using standard frameworks for business excellence.

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