On January 10, Google announced that they launched the mobile intrusive interstitials penalty. Discussion about this ranking penalty first surfaced in August 2016. What exactly is an intrusive interstitials? An intrusive interstitial is a pop-up ad or anything that blocks a user from easily accessing content on a website after they have left the search results page. However, since the launch of this recent penalty, Google has made it clear that not all mobile interstitials would be affected.

Here are a list of intrusive interstitials that webmasters can expect to see penalized.

  • Pop-ups that block the main content on a website soon after the user has visited the page or while they are navigating through the website
  • Standalone interstitials that users must exit before being able to access the main content on a website
  • Layouts where the above-the-fold area of the website appears to be similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold

Here are a list of interstitials that Google will allow as long as they are used responsibly.

  • Pop-ups that require age verification or alert users to cookie usage
  • Private content such as email or unindexable content that is behind a paywall
  • Ap install banners that use up a large portion of screen space
  • Page-to-page interstitials are still allowed

By launching this ranking penalty, Google’s goal is to improve users overall experience on mobile devices and make sought after information immediately accessible. This change could also result in more page views per visit and a decreased bounce rate. As of now, webmasters do not have to get rid of interstitials on desktop search. Google reiterated that this signal is just one of many they use to determine page rank. The intent of search query and relevant content continues to be a very strong signal.