Preparing for Google’s Crackdown on Mobile Pop Up Ads

by Stuart McHenry October 12, 2016

Google’s algorithm constantly changes, so it should not be a surprise that yet again, developers are in for some big changes. This time, it has to do with mobile web pages and pop-up ads. Google will penalize any websites that have pop-up ads on their mobile website because it interferes with the user’s experience. Readers want their desired information right away rather than waiting for ads to disappear.


Losing Profit

The largest repercussion of being unable to have ads on a mobile webpage is the profits businesses will lose out on. However, with the ad, SEO ranking will suffer, so it makes sense to focus on SEO strategies, making them better, enabling a higher ranking. Providing a stronger experience for the user without any pop-ups can unknowingly increase your SEO ranking, putting you in a better position than before.


Create a Positive Experience

Creating a positive experience helps to increase your SEO ranking. Focus on what the user wants out of your website rather than the extra money you can make from your viewers. Believe it or not, ads that interrupt were not amplifying the user’s experience; they hindered it even if they made you a little money down the road. Positive content that matches the viewer’s need helps solve that problem.


Use Pop-Ups if Required by Law

Some websites still require the use of pop-ups before they can display their information. This is the case for any website that is age restricted, such as those that have to do with alcohol. In these cases, the pop-ups will not punish the SEO ranking as the website could not exist without the pop-up.


The Most Concerning Ads

As with any change, this will not occur overnight. Many businesses will not jump right away because of the impending algorithm changes and they might not get penalized. Google will focus on the websites that have the most intruding ads. Think of those that block out the content the user tries to view until they view an ad. These websites will experience the most negative impact of the algorithm first.


Quality and Penalties

Google focuses on quality more than anything even with the new algorithm. That being said, if there are two mobile websites, one with a pop-up ad and one without, it does not mean the one without the ad will rank higher. Google looks at the big picture, focusing on the quality of the content you provide to the viewers. If the website with the ad has stronger content than the website without the ad, the pop-up ad might not penalize the business as much as you might think.


Placement of Ads

Another bit of good news is that if your ad does not interfere with the user’s experience on your website, you might be able to avoid penalty. This means you can still advertise and gain that ad revenue as long as you have banner ads that are out of the way. Google does not specify the amount of screen space that is acceptable, but using your best judgment based on the user experience should help you determine what will benefit you the most.


Since you do not have to work overnight to make changes to your mobile web pages, you can think about how to best provide a good experience for your viewers. Hindering your profits might hurt at first, but thinking outside the box can help you determine where to best place your ads while providing the highest quality content for your viewers.

Stuart McHenry
Stuart McHenry is a US-based SEO Consultant focusing on link building, content marketing, local SEO, and reputation management. Follow Stuart on Twitter @smindsrt