Intrusive Pop-ups Will Affect Your Mobile Search Ranking

Google Mobile scaled 1

On August 23rd, 2016. Google announced two upcoming changes to mobile search results that make finding content easier for users.

First, Google will be removing the “mobile-friendly label” from the search engine, although the label will be removed, the mobile-friendly criteria will continue to be a ranking signal. For your information, the purpose of the mobile-friendly label is to help users find pages where the text and content was readable without zooming and the tap targets were appropriately spaced.

So why did Google want to remove the label? Well according to Google, 85 percent of all pages it shows on its mobile search results pages are now mobile-friendly web design (Google Webmaster Central Blog). This is the why ALL the website we at Tech Strongbox built is mobile friendly. If you take a look at our Web Design service and ECommerce packages, you will notice that “mobile friendly web design” is a standard feature in our package. You will be surprised to find many large corporations are still using outdated and non-mobile friendly website (think about the negative impact on their brand as well).

Second, you will lose your mobile search ranking if your mobile website have one of those annoying interstitials (you know, those annoying pop-up ads or announcements that take over the whole page as soon as you landed on the page and the button is so small that it is difficult to dismissing them, which inevitably leads you to accidentally clicking on the ad even though you really didn’t want to).

“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.”

Google Webmaster Central Blog

However, do note that NOT ALL interstitials will be affected by the new signal, if used responsibly. Here are some of the example extracted from Google Webmaster Central Blog:

  • Some interstitials that appear to be in response to a legal obligation, such as for cookie usage or for age verification.
  • Login dialogs on sites where content is not publicly indexable. For example, this would include private content such as email or unindexable content that is behind a paywall.
  • Banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible. For example, the app install banners provided by Safari and Chrome are examples of banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space.

This new signal is just one of hundreds of signals that are used in ranking. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.

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