Did you hear the news?
– Google is releasing one of its search engine algorithm updates.
And, it’s an excellent update, as long as you take a few simple steps to get your website in line.
From 10th January, 2017, Google will penalize websites that have interstitials covering the content on mobile devices.
Yes, that’s right, this is another mobile-friendly update from Google.
What the heck is an interstitial?
Confused? It’s not every day you come across the word interstitial, is it? (Unless you’re in the medical profession.)
But in Google terms, it relates to those annoying popups or lightboxes or welcome mats that obscure the main content you are trying to view on your mobile screen.
I’m sure you’ve come across them?
Google is unhappy that you can’t see the expected content on your mobile device when you land on a web page from its search results.
Think about it…
Google wants to provide the best possible service to searchers. And if it directs you to a site whose content is obliterated by an interstitial, then it has failed to provide a good service.
So, its new algorithm update will give a lower ranking to those sites that continue to block the main content with annoying interstitials.
Examples of interstitials from Google
Google has written an article with some examples of what it considers to be unacceptable and acceptable interstitials. It’s worth checking out.
Here is a quick visual guide (from the article) to help you:
3 examples of interstitials that are not acceptable:
An example of an intrusive popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.
An example of an intrusive standalone interstitial, that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
Another example of an intrusive standalone interstitial, where the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.
3 examples of interstitials that are acceptable:
An example of an interstitial for cookie usage.
An example of an interstitial for age verification.
An example of a banner that uses a reasonable amount of screen space.
I’m sure you’ll agree this is good news for those of us who want to read content on mobile devices without having to jump over unnecessary hurdles.
Does this affect your site?
If you’re using any of the unacceptable interstitials mentioned above on your website, then you need to take action.
The most common interstitials are those used for email opt-ins. But they could be used for other messages or adverts too.
If you use a list building plugin to display opt-ins on your website, then you need to check your settings and remove the offending types of opt-ins for mobile devices.
Note: You can still use them for desktop screens – this update is for mobile devices.
Hopefully, you’re using a premium list building plugin, where you can adjust your settings and comply with Google’s mobile-friendly content update.
If not, then perhaps it’s time to invest in a better solution?
How to comply with Google’s mobile-friendly content update
1. Thrive Leads
Navigate to your Thrive Leads Dashboard. You can switch on/off each type of opt-in form for desktop and mobile:
Go to the Display Rules setting in each OptinMonster Campaign and adjust the Device Settings:
3. Bloom (Elegant Themes)
Navigate to your Active Opt-ins in Bloom and edit each opt-in. In the Display Settings, make sure you check the Hide on Mobile setting:
Each of these premium list building plugins make it super easy to choose how you display your opt-ins. Take a few minutes to check if you’ve set up everything correctly.
This is a great update from Google.
It’s focused on providing the best user experience and ensuring content is displayed correctly on mobile devices.
If you’re a responsible blogger using a premium list building plugin like those above, then you have nothing to worry about. Make your changes and you’re good to go.
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