Google has spoken. Beginning January 2017, sites will begin to be penalised in their search results for using dominating pop up ads and welcome banners for mobile visitors.
We continue along the windy road of Google strategy which prioritises content that performs well on both all devices. If your blog or site doesn’t behave well on mobile and/or have a responsive version, you need to fix that asap. Seriously, stop reading this article and implement a responsive web design.
To be honest, can you blame them? Bloggers have long been abusing the “welcome mat”, and if it’s not that it’s a barrage of pop ups. From a users perspective, they want to be taken to the content they have been searching for, not have to fight through fields and email subscription forms.
So from a user’s perspective, this makes sense.
What does this mean for me though?
First of all, let’s not blow this out of proportion. These new Google pop up guidelines strictly say this is only taking effect for mobile devices. So you don’t have to throw out your email banners and welcome mats completely.
The easiest method to adhere to these guidelines is simply to restrict this functionality on mobile devices. Most services like AppSumo and GetSiteControl allow functions to restrict these services to certain web browsers.
For my site, I use GetSiteControl for a simple email pop up that appears after a user has browsed for 45 seconds. A quick tick in the exclude mobile visitors will make your site compliant.
Remember that it’s all about the user
The new Google pop up and banner guidelines that will come into effect in 2017 are user improvements. Google has identified that too many users are getting frustrated and bouncing from websites that show full page welcome banners or intrusive pop ups that are difficult to dismiss.
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When implementing functions on your websites, remember that there will be an actual person using them. That large email capture form might be great for conversion, but unless it appears in clear way and is easily dismissed on mobile devices, best to steer clear.
And as the bible once said…
Treat website visitors as you would like to be treated when visiting.