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    Google Will Lowly Rank Sites With Pop-Ups

    By Derek Robinson

    This move involves devaluing sites that use interstitials and pop-ups. This includes fake interstitials. From early next year the search engine will not be ranking site pages that have intrusive interstitials as high as those that do not have. This will include sites with pop-ups that will trigger as a user views search results of navigating through the page.


    The main reason behind why Google Will Lowly Rank Sites With Pop-Ups is the complaining by searchers. When Google first introduced signals that resulted in pages with app interstitials losing their boost in search engine results, most sites started using fake interstitials. This is something that looks like an interstitial that leads users to believing that an app is required for the content viewing. If the user scrolls, the real content appears. This was against the app interstitial change.


    From 10th January 2017, the fake interstitials will be ranking lowly. This is therefore an early warning. Site owners have nothing worry about until after the end of year festive season.


    The changes will also target pop-ups. Mobile pop-ups are more obtrusive since they are difficult to close. In some cases, it is impossible to close a pop-up on a mobile phone. For site owners and managers, it means that pop-ups will have to be served on second page views when the user clicks from mobile search results. This will however not affect desktop pop-ups. It will however cause some inconvenience for sites with responsive designs that need to use pop-ups on desktops.


    The following is what you need to know:


    The examples below show techniques that are known to interfere with the access to content for users:


    – The display of pop-ups that cover the main content when the user is going through the page or after the user navigates to the pages from search results.


    – Displaying interstitials that need to be closed prior to accessing the main content.


    – The use of layouts where the portion of the page above the fold appears to be similar to an interstitial and the original content is lined under the fold.


    Google has pointed out that there are interstitials such that those for age verification and cookies notice will not be affected by the changes. the change mainly targets the interstitials that give users a bad experience.


    Yelp was one of the early users of fake interstitial tactics and continues to use this tactic. Other sites such as Pinterest also followed suit. Most probably, these big sites will be in the first lane to make the necessary adjustments. You can still use banner app installs on pages.


    Amidst all the changes, Google has announce that user intent will continue being strong. This simply means that a page will rank highly even with the interstitials if the search engine feels that it is an important page. Pages from reputable brands will still be high in ranks even with interstitials

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