Intrusive Interstitials: Guidelines To Avoiding Google’s Penalty

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In 2015, Google announced that mobile searches surpassed desktop searches in at least 10 countries. 56% of traffic on major websites comes from mobile. In light of this, Google’s decision to improve the mobile user experience by various means, such as AMP pages and a dedicated mobile index, comes across as a sound business move.

More than half of the 2 trillion searches Google processes each year come from mobile devices. Mobile devices have changed the way we approach search, ushering in new types of habits such as local search, voice search and more. These consumer habits have greatly affected the way search engine providers think about user search intent.
A new type of mobile improvement was rolled out by Google. The search giant has decided to launch a war against interstitials that ruin the user experience. As a result, any website found guilty of showing intrusive popups, banners or overlays (called interstitials) will see its content demoted in Google’s mobile search results. We’ll be looking at what’s being penalized, what’s allowed and some workarounds to help you cope with this new penalty.

Two years ago, Google introduced a mobile-friendly label as it began prioritizing mobile websites. The aim was to push websites that offer a substandard user experience to improve their design, code and content. These guidelines are updated quite often as Google aims to keep the mobile user experience center stage.

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