Google Kills Intrusive Popups in 2017

September 14, 2016
Written By Dr. Ryan Lowe

RIP Intrusive Popups

The year 2017 will be remembered for many reasons, including being known as the year Google killed the intrusive popups. The search engine giant will start penalizing sites that use intrusive popup ads.  These changes will make content searches more efficient.

Mobile Search Results, Simplified

Two years ago, Google created a mobile-friendly label that made it much easier for users to find pages with readable content. The label let users know what pages did not require zooming in or tap targets without the proper spacing. As this ecosystem has evolved, 85 percent of all mobile search result pages now meet this standard. Also this feature adds a mobile-friendly label. Google has decided to remove the label in order to “keep search results uncluttered,” but will continue to use mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal.

Popups = Less Accessible Content

Google will improve the mobile search experience in the new year by ranking content according to accessibility. Popups that hide the main content on a page, whether immediately after a user clicks on the page or while browsing the page, is an example of less-than-accessible content. Other techniques that impede content accessibility according to Google include stand-alone interstitial displays and layouts where the above-the-fold portion of the page is similar to a standalone interstitial. In the latter example, the content is hiding underneath the fold.

How The Penalties Will Work

The mighty search engine does not plan to penalize sites that use interstitials. It will only punish those featuring popups that take users to different screens or make content less accessible. No penalty will be applied to banner ads and login boxes will not be penalized.

This announcement has resulted in mixed feelings from site operators and publishers who count on interstitials for revenue. We are happy with Google’s announcement and welcome the change.

Energyhill's Site Audit

Be ready for Google's change in 2017. We can help you make certain your site is ready for Google in 2017. Please visit for a full analysis of your website, so you can make sure your site is optimized and penalty free in 2017.

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