What Counts As an Intrusive Interstitial?
Two years ago, Google introduced the mobile-friendly label. Then we witnessed ‘mobilegeddon’, where Google began prioritizing these mobile sites. Now, they are cracking down on mobile sites offering a substandard user experience.
On January 10th 2017, any sites with intrusive interstitials may lose ranking juice. The key question then is, what counts as an intrusive interstitial? Essentially, it’s any extraneous content that appears over the majority of the page proper. Call them silly, but Google assumes visitors enjoy seeing the information they clicked for.
At this point you may well have further questions; fortunately, I am here to answer them. In this post, I will help you decide exactly what will and won’t count as an intrusive interstitial by Google. Let’s get straight to it!
What Is an Intrusive Interstitial?
Intrusive interstitials are essentially popup ads. They tend to block most or all of a page, leading to a bad user experience for desktop and mobile users alike.These types of ads make it frustrating at best to access the page as intended. The general exception to the rule is when there are legally required (or ethically advised) notifications, such as popups for age verification.
The kicker is that while popups are moderately annoying on desktops, there is even less screen real estate to work with on mobile devices. In these cases, it can completely ruin the user experience. Here are a few examples of how this goes wrong:
- The interstitial covers most or all of the content on a page.
- The interstitial is not responsive. That means it is difficult or impossible to close it on a mobile, rendering the page useless for mobile users.
- The interstitial is not triggered by an action, such as “Click here to subscribe.” Rather, it pops up on its own without prompting, creating an unpleasant surprise for the mobile viewer.
As you can see, the issue is not only the annoyance of popups but their role in ruining the user experience. If you find an interstitial on your own site that you’re not sure of, we find it best to err on the side of a pleasing experience for the user.
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