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Why Website Pop-Ups Might be Harmful to Mobile SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is constantly changing, so it is essential to keep up with the algorithm announcements to maintain good rankings for your website. Google’s goal is to make sure that the visitors are having a good experience when they come to your website. Is the design of your website conducive to the user experience?

 
Pop-Ups and Search Engine Rankings

 
Recently, Google announced a change that will impact website rankings. Sites that have intrusive popups and mobile interstitials will be punished in the search engine results. Pages that have these intrusive pop-ups will rank lower than pages without these features.

 
Don’t worry; these algorithm changes won’t go into effect until early next year. So, you have plenty of time to make changes to your site if you are currently using pop-ups. But, it is essential that you make it a priority to remove the pop-ups before the end of the year. These changes are scheduled to be implemented on January 10, 2017.

 
Google’s Guidelines for Mobile Pop-ups

 
When the announcement was made, Google shared some details about the features that are negatively impacting user experience:

 
“Here are some examples of techniques that make content less accessible to a user:

 

  • Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates 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-thefold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.”

 

Improving User Experience

 
It is easy to see why Google is making these changes. The goal is to improve the user experience when searching online. User experience is impacted by pop-ups on mobile devices because some of the popups are difficult or even impossible to close on a small screen.

 
If you want to keep pop-ups on your website, then it is essential to make sure that they don’t show up until the second-page view. Someone needs to click through from the mobile search results to access your website without pop-ups. Then, these features can be added (if you wish) to the second page.

 
Reports have said that this signal will not affect pop-ups on desktop computers. Even though desktop SEO results aren’t affected by the pop-ups, website owners need to consider the website design if they are using a responsive design.

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