In response to the lockdown in Perth, many businesses have included an interstitial (aka pop-up) for their COVID response message. However, like the pandemic, Google’s algorithm is always changing with penalties against intrusive interstitials on mobile devices. This little-known policy means that if the COVID response message does not comply with the guidelines site, rankings could be at risk. To help business understand this policy, we have created a Marketing Tip that provides an overview of everything you need to know about interstitials.
In terms of interstitials, Google is focusing on interstitials that are initially present when a user opens a website. The search engine penalises ‘intrusive interstitial’, which can be described as a pop-up that prevents a user from interacting with content. Alternatively, an appropriate interstitial takes up a reasonable amount of screen space and is easily dismissible. To help businesses with this policy, Google has provided illustrations that outline what is and isn’t considered acceptable:
Alternatively, businesses could add a time delay. For example, Bloom Digital has included a 20 second delay on our COVID pop-ups. The method is effective as Google only focuses on the transition from search results to website.
However, Google has noted some circumstances where intrusive interstitial are acceptable:
- When businesses need to comply with legal requirements including age verification, cookie usage or disclaimers.
- When users are required to log into sites that are not publicly accessible (i.e. sites that contain a paywall).
But, be aware! Even if you create a pop-up that follows Googles’ guidelines, you still need to be conscious that your rankings could be impacted if the pop-ups reduce site speed or user experience. So, ensure that you test your pop-ups once they have been implemented onto site.
Stay aware! We hope this insight will allow your pop-ups to ‘pop’, without making your rankings drop! For more marketing tips and tricks, check out our other Marketing Tips or follow us on social media.