Web Pages With Pop-Up Ads on Mobile Search to Get Lower Rankings


Google makes frequent changes to its search engine algorithms but new change to its mobile search algorithm will see web pages with pop-up adverts receive lower rankings than those without.

Better Experience Without.

As an IT Support Company in Hertfordshire we know why mobile advertising is important to businesses but we also know how frustrating it can sometimes be to users.

If you visit a web page on your mobile device that doesn’t require zooming it usually means that you can quickly and easily access the content. If that page has pop-up adverts (also known as or interstitials) on it however, these can obscure the content, and it is this type of user experience that Google is trying to change by changing its algorithms. Google argues that a user’s experience of such pages will be poorer and that pop-ups cause problems on mobile devices where screens are smaller.

The Ad Blocker Issue.

As an IT Support Company in Hertfordshire we know that ad blockers have become very popular and that although they appreciated by their users, advertisers or those who cover the costs of displaying content through online advertising are clearly not happy with their popularity.

Ad blockers are used on 200 million peoples’ computers and it is estimated that they are now preventing advertising worth billions in revenue from being seen. Google makes money of course from advertising / placing advertising on the mobile web.
Some IT commentators therefore have also noted that another possible reason for this change could be that there will be one less reason to use ad-blockers or to search within apps instead.

What Kind of Pop-Ups Will be Punished?

Google’s blog states that from 10th January 2017 the algorithm change will start to affect the rankings of web pages where:

  1. The pop-up adverts cover the main content of the web page that the user has clicked on.
  2. A standalone / intermediary web page (advert page) is displayed that the user has to dismiss before they are able to reach the content they wanted.
  3. The advert takes up the whole of the above-the-fold area of the page so that the user has to scroll down to find the content that they wanted to see.

Examples of Responsible Use.

To clarify the situation, the Google Blog also gives examples of the kinds of advertising / interstitial techniques that will not be affected by this latest algorithm change.

These include:

  • Interstitials that are used in order to comply with legal obligations such as cookie warnings or age warnings.
  • Login dialogs where the content isn’t publicly indexable e.g. email or unindexable content behind a paywall.
  • Banner ads that only take up a ‘reasonable’ amount of space and can be easily be dismissed by the user.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

If you advertise online for mobiles, you will need to make sure that your ads and your web pages with adverts on comply with Google’s new algorithm in order to retain rankings. Failing to do so could of course mean lost reduced traffic and revenue.

There is at least some time until the algorithm comes into force in January to ensure compliance.

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