Mobile SEO Changes in January 2017: Are You Using an 'Intrusive Interstitial'?

Almost every person that I talk to about designing their website mentions three little letters. The three letters that just about every web designer scrunches up their nose at, only because it's such a giant freakin' beast for being three tiny letters:  SEO.

But, it's something that NEEDS to be discussed and addressed when designing a website. If you're hiring a website designer and they don't bring up SEO at all in conversations or in their offerings for you, ask them about it. The whole point of a website is to make your business visible, right? 

And, tell me one person that doesn't land on a search engine at least once a day. Especially if that person has kids. I would love to go back to Justin's 1st year of life and see all the Google searches that started with, "Is it normal if my baby _____".

One thing I do want to bring to your attention is the new concept that Google is cracking down against:  Intrusive interstitials.

Sounds pretty gross, right? I totally agree. And, when you find out what it is, you might not be as grossed out as you initially intended to be.

This means Google is cracking down against mobile pop-ups that become intrusive to the end-user.

It stops them from being able to read the content they came to read. And, while it may be some content that the owner of the site wants to get in front of that end-user, it will start to make an impact on SEO in January 2017.

Here it is, straight from the source!:

To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.

Basically, here's what to do and what not to do:

Now you know what to do and what to avoid! Some people using the 'what not to dos' are annoyed by the new rules being enforced by Google.

Me, on the other hand? I'm SO GLAD to see the annoying mobile pop-ups go away.

This is all spoken from an end-user perspective. I've fallen on a few sites in the last few days that I literally didn't have the option to close out of the pop-up. I wanted to read their website content, but I didn't want to subscribe to their newsletter. So, I left the entire site.

What can you do about this if you're guilty of using the annoying pop-up? If you're on Squarespace, use the "Announcement" option that I'm using at the top of this site! It's an easy way to call out a special you're featuring. You can use a landing page, you can put your newsletter subscription in the footer of your site to follow through the entire site. Anything but annoying pop-ups, especially on mobile!

I'll leave you with a few words from my friend, Steve:
oh neat - so basically they're penalizing people for those horrible popups that everyone hates

Exactly. Cheers to January 2017!


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