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Google is penalizing websites using intrusive pop-up ads, and they will likely see a drop in search rankings.

After Google announced this new algorithm update regarding intrusive pop-up ads, businesses and website owners were quick to call their webmasters. The unfortunate part is that pop-up ads do a pretty good job. They work well, assuming that ads are not blatant scams or totally irrelevant to the content you’re viewing. The conversion rate of high performing pop-up ads is just over 9 percent, on average.

 

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So, is it still safe to use pop-ups on your website in a legitimate, non-spammy fashion?

 

For starters, the algorithm update only affects mobile sites. Desktop versions should not be affected, but who knows if down the road, that will change, too. Google’s mobile pop-up (or interstitial) penalty specifically targets intrusive pop-ups. So not all pop-ups are taboo. If they are spammy in nature, hard to dismiss, and diminish user experience, your rankings will take a hit. Otherwise, you should be safe. Pop-up banners, slide-ins, and tabs that are easy to dismiss and take up 15 percent or less of the screen, are okay.

 

Some other safe scenarios for using pop-ups would be:

– When you’re legally required to display restricted content
– When you need to verify age
– When it’s triggered by an exit intent
– Cookie use notifications

 

Ensure that they don’t do any of the following:

– Interrupt users as they navigate between pages
– Cover the majority of the screen, obstructing your entire view
– Are difficult to close
– Must be dismissed before users can continue on

 

If you think your site has been affected, you can check the Interstitial Penalty Checker at: https://interstitialpenaltycheck.com/

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