Are you aware of the Google’s Mobile pop-up penalty?

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Are you aware of the Google’s Mobile pop-up penalty? | Velsof

You need to know about the Mobile pop-up penalty if you own a website.

As scheduled, Google began to roll out its intrusive mobile pop-up penalty. The update is aimed at reducing the spread of those pages in Google’s Mobile SERPs, that use overlapping pop-ups or interstitials on the main content of the pages. Google aims at preserving the positive user experience of the users on its search results. And that’s a fact too. When searchers click on a search result, they hope to find out a relevant page that fulfills their need. The pop-ups or interstitials that are shown to the users before the main content just degrade the user experience and force the user to bounce back. On the whole, the referrer- Google is blamed for it.

Since Google has made it already clear that it is not going to compromise its user experience at any cost, the Mobile pop-up penalty is being considered as a major step after the notification of mobile first indexing.

Did you check your website for interstitials?

If not, it’s the right time to do so. Google has already started rolling out the update and hs already hit some websites really hard. Let’s see what Google has to say about it:

Google posted this in its official post at Webmaster Central Blog:

Are you aware of the Google’s Mobile pop-up penalty?- Google's post to show the interstitials that are liable to penalty | Velsof

Print from the Google’s post to show the interstitials that are liable to penalty.

“Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after users navigate to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.”

“Displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.”

“Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.”

Google Makes clear that not all the interstitials are liable to penalty:

Are you aware of the Google’s Mobile pop-up penalty?- Google's post interstitials that are not liable to penalty | Velsof

Print from Google’s post explaining the interstitials that are not liable to penalty.

Not all the interstitials are bad here. Google also gives the Examples of interstitials that would not be affected, if used carefully:

Google explains that if you use some excepted interstitials responsibly you need not fear the new signal. In its official post, Google has put forward the following instructions:

“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, such as private content like email or unindexable content that is behind a pay wall.”

“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.”

It is clear now that the penalty is liable to be imposed on those pages who use interstitials to overlap the main content and degrades the user experience. The new signal is one of the 200 signals of Google. The rest other signals will still be in action so, you have to be aware of all those signals before considering the Mobile pop-up penalty as the reason for your downgrade in Google ranking.

With a responsible sense, you can still use some genuine interstitials as explained in above section. So, you need not worry if you believe in sticking to the rules and fair play. Lot’s of hoax has been seen in the past few days after the release of this update. Some say, it’s still in rolling phase and some say they have already been hit by the update. Still, this is too early to judge anything.

However, it is a confirmed news that the new Google update is being rolled out and will soon show it’s widespread effects.


It would be interesting to notice how websites are going to adjust themselves with the new Google’s signal and how they will tackle the impacts if they have been already hit by it. I will be keeping my eye on the effects and will keep posted about the findings.

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