Using annoying popups, interstitials might reduce your chances to rank, says Google

You know those websites that have what they call “door mat” popups and stuff? I always thought they were super annoying. Like, you click on a search result, visit the page and all of a sudden, a giant annoying form pushes the whole content down and all you have is a newsletter signup form in front of you. And if I forgot which website I clicked on, I wouldn’t know which site I’m on. How annoying!

Well, Google is taking a stand on it. Announced via today’s blog post, Google mentioned that interstitials and content that are obstructing a good user experience will probably reduce your chances to rank as high. Well, somewhat in that sense. Here are Google’s words.

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. To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.

Keep in mind, we’re talking about mobile user experience here. I’m not entirely sure if this also means desktop searches. But personally, I think I’m equally annoyed by such interstitials and popups on mobile and desktop searches.

What does that mean?

  • Turn off your annoying popups on mobile.
  • Ensure a better user experience on mobile and not let any ads/lead forms obstruct your content.

By the way, interstitial ads between clicks (from one page to another) are still fine. Google AdSense Vignette ads for instance. ;)

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Mani Karthik

I can talk about Marketing and SEO all day long. Passionate about blogging, SEO & Online marketing. Perpetual learner.

Comments 1

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  1. Hi,

    This news makes lots of sense. Since Google is trying to promote good content over “in your face marketing”, it’s not surprising that they would reduce a website’s chances to rank if they use annoying popups.

    This will force webmasters and SEOs to think content and user experience first, which is a good thing in my opinion.

    By reducing the use of spammy ads and promoting good content, the web can only become a better place.