Mobile sites with intrusive pop up ads could soon be penalised by changes to Google’s search ranking criteria.
The search giants have recently announced alterations to mobile search after pushing the industry over the last couple of years to adapt non-responsive sites so that they are suitable on the handheld devices we use every day.
As part of this change, as outlined in their blog, they’re striving for users to more easily access the content they’re searching for. Sounds sensible.
However a big online hindrance to a positive user experience on mobile is pop up advertising. We’ve all experienced this. You’ve clicked on that appealing music article or top ten celebrity list to be greeted with a completely irrelevant film trailer or ad for nasal spray, with these interstitials often completely blocking the main content to the detriment of the user.
Thankfully, Google has decided enough is enough and will now penalise mobile sites which host intrusive pop up ads or banner ads which cover a large percentage of the top of the landing page. Search ranking will affect those offending sites as a deterrent to popular websites which value a few quid over a robust user experience – and rightly so.
From a search engine optimisation perspective, the content a user is greeted with in a pop up ad is not the content they were initially searching for and so the site’s SEO ranking should be affected by this.
The new criteria will come into effect after 10 January 2017, giving those sites only a few months to reassess their online monetisation strategies, however age verification, cookie notifications and smaller ad banners won’t be penalised under the new policy.
For help making your existing website responsive and optimised for mobile devices, get in touch – we’d love to chat about what we can do for you.