Search engine giant Google on Tuesday announced that websites which allow intrusive interstitial advertisements, that hinder immediate access to content, will rank lower in its search results. The move is set to be a mind-boggler for a lot of webmasters across the globe, as the search engine giant unarguably serves as the major source of traction for almost all websites. However, Google has provided enough time to websites to make the necessary changes, as the new conditions will be implemented only after January 10, 2017. In its blog post to webmasters, Google said, “Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller.”
As a result of the new change, the rankings of the websites which contain advertisement popups that cover the main content will be lowered. Also, the websites which start with a pop-up immediately after the user navigates to a page will be affected. Besides this, Google also stated some other cases where unnecessary advertisements affect users’ browsing. However, Alphabet-owned company has also kept certain exceptions to the new development. In the cases where the popups or messages are necessarily required by the websites, the ranking will not be lowered. Such cases may include government and legal obligations, such as for cookie usage or for age verification or a cautionary message.
Even if the advertisements use a reasonable amount of screen, and doesn’t cover the entire space, it won’t impact the website’s ranking, Google said. The California-based company also admitted that the websites where the content is not indexable and sits behind a paywall or the cases where sign-ups are mandatory, login dialogues are necessarily required and can’t be avoided. Google also announced that the mobile-friendly label will be removed from its search results as currently, 85 percent of the websites in its search results meet the criteria since their introduction. In 2014, Google started tagging “mobile-friendly” labels for websites were optimised for mobile devices.