Google punishes pop-up ads that are intrusive to the user experience.
From 10th Jan 2017, mobile websites with pop-up ads and interstitial will be ‘punished’ by Google for annoying site visitors.
Pop-up ads and interstitials are windows (usually ads) that appear on a web page you are viewing. It doesn’t open up a new browser window but appears WITHIN the page you are viewing.
Any pop up that makes the content “less accessible” will be deemed illegal.
Here are 3 descriptions from Google blog:
- 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.
Who will be affected?
The brand and business owners and marketers use them to alert visitors on:
– our excellent deals that are NOT to be missed. (sales offer)
– Luring visitors to exchange their email or contact for a little gift (lead magnet)
Why the drastic move?
In short, Google wants to improve online user experience, especially for the ever-increasing mobile users.
Mobile screen size is small; pop-ups would kill the experience as they fill up the precious digital real estate.
If you want to dig deeper, my guess is:
1. Restricting brands to have pop-up ads within their sites means many less marketing-savvy and low-budget brands will be forced to rely on the next reliable and trackable ad source, namely Google ads.
2. Google’s closest ad competitor is Facebook. If Google doesn’t do its role well as the gatekeeper to user-friendly sites, the crowd may just rely on Facebook for all the content needs.
How is it going to hurt us?
Once the clock hits 10 Jan 2017, sites with pop-up ads will start to rank lower than their COMPETITORS.
What can we do now?
We have 3 more months to make full use of pop-up ads to do all aggressive marketing and lead generation work.
Have an engaging lead magnets/content to collect email for your list.
With a list, you can market ANYWAY and ANYTIME you want without any rules and regulators scrutinising or banning your ads.
You are in control of the way you choose to market and communicate with your list.
Besides building a list, you would have to reconsider precious above-the-fold home page space for your valuable offers and lead generation activities.
Mid to Long Term:
What about referral marketing?
Consider referral marketing to get more audience to spread your business for you.
Think Dropbox, Airbnb, and many more companies that rely on rewarding users for referring to their friends. Be prepared to have your business reached out exponentially.
Let us know right here that you want a referral marketing for your business.