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Thursday, August 25, 2016

ATTN Bloggers: Google Will Start Penalizing Mobile Sites SEO Ranking For Annoying Popup Ads

- Do readers have to dismiss a popup in order to read your mobile content? 

- Do you have a popup immediately when people visit your mobile site or while they are scrolling through your content?

Well, if you answered "yes" to any of these above questions then your mobile site could be in jeopardy of getting a lower SEO ranking, thanks to the new Google rules for 2017. 

Google will start lowering the rank of sites "where content is not easily accessible."

According to the recent post:

Although the majority of pages now have text and content on the page that is readable without zooming, we’ve recently seen many examples where these pages show intrusive interstitials to users. While the underlying content is present on the page and available to be indexed by Google, content may be visually obscured by an interstitial. This can frustrate users because they are unable to easily access the content that they were expecting when they tapped on the search result.

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.

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-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.
Examples of techniques that, used responsibly, would not be affected by the new signal:
  • 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.
Read their full post here

This will surely have an effect on how some bloggers collect email addresses and promote their products on their mobile sites. 

So, how can us bloggers get around this mobile change ... how can we still promote but not have our blogs penalized? 

Avoid the intrusive interstitial pop-up ads as listed above and:

- Create more landing pages to promote your email list.
- Create a top bar opt-in.
- Create an exit pop-up. 
- Create more relevant content to keep your SEO ranking strong. 
- Create graphics and link within your posts. 

As the article states: 

... 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. 

These new changes will go into effect next year, beginning on Jan. 10. 

I personally don't like too many spammy-looking pop-up ads, especially the ones that require you to click something to continue reading the content. So annoying! So, as a reader, I know what I don't like dealing with and wouldn't put my readers through what annoys me. 


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