Good Guy Google is one again fighting bad web practices with its plans to punish sites that use hard-to-close pop-ups and interstitials.
In the age of aggressive email campaigns, promotions, and discounts, the pop-up has once again become one of marketers’ favourite weapons of choice.
Unfortunately, many of these pop-ups are inadvertently or intentionally poorly coded and designed, resulting in mobile users sometimes being unable to close them.
Thankfully, Google will start punishing these sites come January 10, 2017 by reducing their page rank in search results. Anyone who has some experience running a website and playing with web analytics, should know by now that incoming search traffic varies significantly depending on the rank on the very first results page of whatever search term is used.
This means that a post that once got thousands of hits as a result of being ranked top in a search, could be dropped far down enough to the point of getting a maximum of just 5 hits per day.
Google has made exceptions for certain types of pop-ups and interstitals, and will allow login screens and legal acceptance notices to slip by without penalty.
Their main aim really is to target those modals that make the main content hard to access.
If you’re running these types of pop-ups, it’s time to act now and work on a better solution.