Google to Penalize Mobile Sites with Annoying Popups


Don’t you love it when you click on a link to an article posted by a friend on Facebook and you’re greeted with annoying popups that have to be closed in order to see the article you were interested in? Or worse, when you can’t close that annoying popup without being directed to a new website from the advertiser?  

Yeah, I don’t like that either, and apparently Google agrees it’s not a good experience for their users. TechCrunch recently reported that Google will be penalizing mobile sites that have “popups that cover the main content after users navigate to a page or as they are looking through it, as well as standalone interstitials that have to be dismissed before you can access the main content and pages that show what looks like a standalone interstitial above the fold.”

How to Follow Google’s Strategy

Any time Google makes a change to its algorithm, people scramble to adjust their SEO tactics. But it’s simpler if you keep in mind the primary directive for Google: to give its users the best and most relevant results when using their search engine. To meet this goal, Google doesn’t want to be ranking sites that are frustrating to use.

At LeadG2, we advise our clients to “be more like Google.” What we mean by that is to put the user experience at the top of your list of priorities when developing or updating your website. Make it your first priority to develop a remarkable user experience that gives visitors what they are looking for, and the rest will take care of itself.

For each client that we work with, we recommend first learning more about who your target persona is and what they would be looking for on your website. What challenges are they having, and how can you help them solve those problems? By focusing on your visitor experience first and not showing popups and making visitors click on several pages to find what they are looking for, you can create a more engaging website that keeps visitors coming back.  

Impact on B2B Sites

While this latest Google update might not be targeted at B2B websites, it’s something to certainly take note of if you are using popups or other strategies to get more clicks on ads or calls-to-action. I wouldn’t recommend removing blog subscription popups or premium content offer popups from your site just yet, but make sure that the popups don’t cover too much of the visitor’s screen (mobile or desktop) and that it’s easy for the user to close them out and get to the content they came for.

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