Why Business Owners Need to Remove Intrusive Interstitial Ads Pre 2017

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

Examples of Interstitials that make content less accessible


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.


Non-Problematic Interstitials

Examples of Interstitials that would not be affected by the new signal
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 info@odysseynewmedia.com or call us on 0844 500 6911.

5 Google Ranking Factors you shouldn’t overlook in 2016

With 3.5 billion Google searches made everyday, it is more important than ever to understand the Google Ranking Factors that affect the position of your website, in search results.


The Google Algorithm has 200 major ranking factors and here we take a look at 5 Google ranking factors that you shouldn’t overlook in 2016.


1. Links

Links going into your site still impact ranking significantly and when quality and page relevance issues don’t exist, it is probably the most important factor of all. Domain diversity is key with the number of domains linking to your website correlating directly to its ranking.


2. Content

Content that is topically relevant will of course rank better but it is long form content that can lift a website up through the search results. Each webpage should concentrate on the topic in depth and cover just a single topic. Longer content ranks higher with webpages on the first page of search results typically containing almost 2,000 words on average.


3. RankBrain

RankBrain is a machine learning artificial intelligence system, which Google confirmed that it had been using in October 2015. RankBrain interprets search queries to find more relevant results, even if the search phrase doesn’t match the words on a webpage.


RankBrain does this because it understands complex ‘long-tail’ search queries and how they relate and are similar to other unconnected complex search phrases. This adds weight to the power of long form content, where pages without a keyword can still rank higher than other pages, if the topic is discussed in detail.


4. Mobile Friendliness

Since May 2016, mobile friendliness has played a more important role on mobile search results. Webpages that are relevant and mobile friendly rank highly and with more Google searches being made though mobile devices (50 billion per month) than a desktop, its importance cannot be overlooked.


The page speed of mobile pages will be ranked separately in the latter half of 2016 and this hints that mobile friendly sites will rank higher than those that are not.


5. Local Search

Local search is directly affected by the popularity of your business. The most powerful indicators of popularity includes Google Reviews and Profile Views.


Other important Google ranking factors

There are many other Google ranking factors to consider and the most important of these includes having a HTTPS URL, as discussed in our post ‘How SSL Certificates and Dedicated IP Addresses Affect SEO’.


In addition to this, content with at least one image will rank better than content without an image, although having more than one image does not further improve rankings. Exact match anchor text still has a strong influence on Google rankings and although Click Through Rates (CTR) do not affect ranking, as it is too easy to falsely replicate, it indirectly affects ranking as a low bounce rate will improve rankings.


Improving your Google rankings and SEO content writing

Do you need in depth SEO analysis, management and content writing for your website? If so, please contact Odyssey New Media for help at info@odysseynewmedia.com or call us on 0844 500 6911.

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