If your business uses intrusive interstitial ads on its website, then now is the time to consider removing them. Google’s ranking algorithm is about to be updated and will view intrusive interstitials as a negative ranking factor.
Business owners have until January 10th 2017 to remove intrusive interstitials, if they do not wish to have their webpages penalised.
What are Intrusive Interstitials
Google is about to crack down on intrusive interstitials on the mobile web and this type of advert usually opens as a webpage is loading in.
A statement from Google expresses that “Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller.”
Google further states that “While the underlying content is present on the page and available to be indexed by Google, content may be visually obscured by an interstitial. This can frustrate users because they are unable to easily access the content that they were expecting when they tapped on the search result.”
Pages that continue to use intrusive interstitial ads may be penalised from this date, and in mobile search results, they may not rank as highly.
Removing this type of ad should not be overlooked. The importance of this action becomes apparent when we consider that more searches are made from mobiles, compared to searches made on desktops.
Problematic interstitials are easy to identify and will generally be one of the following types of ad:
- Pop-ups that cover the main content immediately after the visitor navigates to a page or while they are browsing the page.
- Standalone interstitials that have to be closed before the page’s content is visible.
- Layouts that show the above-the-fold portion of the page as an interstitial, while the original content is in-lined underneath the fold.
Not all interstitials are problematic. Here are three types of interstitials that are not problematic:
- Interstitials that are incorporated in response to a legal obligations, such as age verification interstitials or cookie usage interstitials
- Top or bottom advert banners that don’t take up too much space and that are easy to dismiss
- Log-in dialogues on sites where the content is not publicly index-able or the content is behind a pay wall
Why Intrusive Interstitials are Important
Google has focused on intrusive interstitials as part of its strategy to improve the user’s experience, which is one that is more and more likely yo be taking place on a mobile device. These ads are just part of an overall strategy that business’s need to respond to, in order to rank well in SERPs.
Currently, Google has identified that 85% of pages in mobile search results are mobile-friendly. This means that the content on these pages is readable without zooming, and tap targets/buttons are appropriately spaced for touch screens.
Business owners should begin by checking if their website is mobile friendly. This can be done by using the mobile friendly test and mobile usability report, found in Google’s Search Console.
Is your Business using Intrusive Interstitials?
If you need help removing intrusive interstitials or optimising your website for mobile search, then Odyssey New Media can help. Contact Odyssey New Media today at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0844 500 6911.
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