Google Issues Warning to Sites With Pop Ups

August 25, 2016

If your site has a pop-up ad, you may want to change it soon. Google says it plans to punish sites that have pop-up ads on mobile by factoring it into their search algorithm. It also is going after interstitials, web pages displayed before or after an expected content page, which are often advertisements.

Google says it will start lowering the rank of sites "where content is not easily accessible."

Google says such ads annoy users and so sites that use pop-ups and interstitials may start to come in lower in search results because of it.

That said, many factors go into Google’s search result rankings. Sites that continue to use such features won’t necessarily be bumped in the ranking, if it still contains the most relevant information. However, relevant sites that are about equal to the other site but doesn’t use pop-ups and interstitials may see a benefit in the rankings, The Verge reports.

Google wants to pressure sites to remove the pop-ups. Sites may gray out the content beneath to prevent users from reading a website for a few seconds or until users click on an X to dismiss the pop-up. Google also says it will count ads that may not be a pop-up but occupy most of the page after a site is loaded. Small banners across the top of screen or ads that occupy a “reasonable amount of screen space” will not be flagged by Google, according to The Verge’s report.

The changes are part of Google’s updates to its search algorithm. Last year, Google changed its search algorithm to give websites that are “mobile friendly” more of an edge. In 2014, sites with encryption also saw a boost in rank.

The latest change to its search algorithm targeting pop-ups will take effect Jan. 10, 2017.

Source: “Google Will Punish Sites That Use Annoying Pop-Up Ads,” The Verge (Aug. 23, 2016)