Google has announced two upcoming changes that are set to arrive on its mobile search results to help users easily access content. One of the changes coming is that the company will soon penalize websites that have intrusive pop-up ads.
Google said on its announcement that websites that have pop-up ads that cover the entire page or interfere with a site’s main content (called interstitials) will be ranked lower in Google’s search results. This new policy also covers pop-up ads that users have to dismiss in order to continue to the actual site, according to Mashable.
Pop-ups that ask for users’ age, notify users about the site’s cookies policy and request users to log in to their account, along with small banner ads, won’t be penalized. Google has published a photo on its blog showing the three kinds of ads that will be covered by the new policy.
The new rules on pop-up ads are specifically made for browsing on mobile devices. Advertisements on mobile devices have become a huge problem because of smaller screens. On desktop computers, huge pop-up ads are a bit easier to dismiss or close.
“Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are smaller,” Google product manager Doantam Phan said in the blog post.
Google says that it will start penalizing websites after January 10, 2017. Back in November 2015, Google launched an app install interstitial penalty, a policy that checks ads that ask users to install a mobile app. That will now be incorporated into the current pop-up ads policy on Google’s search results. Phan says that they decided to do this to avoid any duplication of its signals which Google use to rank search results.