Google to Penalize Mobile Sites with Annoying Pop-ups

Advertising interstitials can be annoying as they occupy the whole page, restricts access to the website’s contents, and comes with a little box that is supposed to close it, but usually makes users accidentally trigger the ad instead. Fortunately, Google has mentioned that it will begin punishing mobile websites that implements such interstitials as part of its pivot towards the mobile market.

Starting from January 10th 2017, Google will begin penalizing websites that use intrusive interstitials by ranking them lower in the search results. Google’s definition of intrusive interstitials are as follows:

  • Popups that cover the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.
  • Standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content
  • Interstitials with layouts where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath it.
content less accessible

This doesn’t mean that Google is cracking down on all interstitials of course, as Google has also outlined examples of acceptable interstitials. Such acceptable interstitials includes popup login boxes and popups with legal information about the services provided.


While Google’s interstitial outline may not be warmly received by webmasters, those of us who browse the internet through our mobile devices would be glad that Google is finally reining in websites who abuse popup ads as a source of revenue.