A guide to Google pop-up penalties


With mobile devices expected to exceed 60 percent of total web traffic by the end of the year, it’s no surprise that the search engine giant is trying to make the Internet a more mobile-friendly place. With smartphone screens averaging around five inches, pop-up adverts can lead to a particularly frustrating browsing experience on many devices. That’s why, starting in 2017, Google will push for complete mobile accessibility on websites by flagging out pages with pop-ups they deem too intrusive for mobile browsing.

What kind of Pop-ups will be flagged?

  • Pop-ups that need to be closed before the user can access the content.
  • Pop-ups that cover the main content of the page when the user first opens a link or after some browsing.
  • Pop-ups that mimic the site’s above-the-fold content while pushing the actual content below the fold.

What do the penalties mean for me?
Keeping any of the above pop-ups on your website will put you at risk of dropping down in Google search rankings, which make up close to two-thirds of the search engine market, according to comScore. This has the potential to hinder your site’s reach, and in turn, the overall success of your business.

Why mobile-optimisation?
Google’s commitment to mobile-optimisation is proof of just how important it is to ensure users have a positive browsing experience on portable devices. It’s important to consider that a mobile-friendly site will not only help you to avoid Google penalties but will also improve users’ browsing experiences, helping to boost your overall conversion rate.

What makes a site mobile friendly?

  • Compatibility with iPhones, Androids, Blackberries and tablets
  • Content that downloads quickly
  • Information that is simple and easy to navigate
  • Clickable links that make it easy to get in touch with you

Merryn Bourne Creative is Brand and Communications Agency. We create beautiful mobile responsive websites that are SEO ready, as part of our client’s overall strategy. If you’re concerned about how Google penalties might affect your website, contact us.

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