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GOOGLE SEO

Google – Stop With The Popup

@Bruce McClellan, Chief Sand Castle Builder

Google wants to make your web browsing on mobile devices a little bit nicer.  A few years ago Google started to demote (push further down in the search results) sites that were not ‘mobile friendly’. They have announced that they are going to take yet another step to make browsing the web on your smart phones and tablets a little bit nicer.

Google wants to make your web browsing on mobile devices a little bit nicer.  A few years ago Google started to demote (push further down in the search results) sites that were not ‘mobile friendly’. They have announced that they are going to take yet another step to make browsing the web on your smart phones and tablets a little bit nicer.

Starting in January 2017 the search giant will be cracking down on pop-up ads and forms that display on mobile devices. Websites that display popups or interstitial ads on a mobile device will be penalized and could appear lower in the search results.  If you depend on Google to bring customers to your website, you definitely don’t want this to happen.

I’m sure everyone reading this knows what a popup ad is but just in case, they are the annoying ads that, well, popup at some point while you are on a webpage.  Not everyone is familiar with the term interstitial ads.   Interstitial ads are the ads that take over the entire screen, including any user controls, forcing the user to interact with the ad before they can move on.

Not just for advertisements…   When I use the word ad I’m not just referring to blatant advertisements for something.  These new rules can also apply to things like sign up forms.  I use popups for several client websites where we are trying to get visitors to subscribe to their newsletter, signup for updates, or request a free guide.

Many business owners are not aware that a website can be designed to display differently on different size screens.  Many websites today are what is called ‘responsive’.   Each element (pictures, text boxes, forms, etc ) automatically resize and rearrange themselves based on the size of the screen that they are being viewed on.

In addition to a website being ‘responsive’, a page can be designed to show or not show specific elements depending on the size of the screen.   You could for example, display a popup newsletter registration form if the visitor is sitting at his computer, but NOT display that popup if the user is on his phone.

So what do you do to fix this?  Have your web designer replace any popups with an inline ad instead.  This is an ad or form that is in a permanent place on the page.   Again, if the popup makes sense on a full size screen, leave it where it is.    Not sure if your site has popups or not?  Don’t know if your site is ‘responsive’ or not?  Have a conversation with your web guru and ask the questions.  If they don’t know what you’re talking about it may be time to find a new guru.

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OCEAN STRAND DIGITAL
9321 Steeple Ct.
Laurel MD 20723
bruce@OceanStrand.com
(240) 547-9457