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Is Your Website Marketing Hurting Your Traffic?.

Posted by Nancy Rausman - 07 February, 2017


 car-44376_640.pngA patient on a cellphone looking for your office hours clicks on your website from Google search results and upon arriving to your homepage an ad pops-up, blocking all of the content on the homepage.  While you think this is a great way to force the visitor to pay attention to your message, it can be pretty frustrating and intrusive for the patient who has different information on his agenda.

This form of interruption marketing is called an interstitial ad and Google is cracking down on this type of ad because it hurts the user experience. Consequently, this month Google rolled out an “intrusive mobile interstitial penalty” which will penalize website ranking for sites that use this tactic in order to reduce this type of intrusive advertising for mobile users. The goal of the penalty is to prevent website managers from withholding visitors easy access to the content they seek on a mobile search.

How does this penalty play out? Firstly, the penalty only applies to interstitials that appear in the direct path of a Google mobile search result that leads to specific website page.  This means that it will not affect interstitials that are implemented within your internal website navigation.  

Further, they are targeting certain types of interstitials including:

  • showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results or while they are looking through the page.
  • displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
  • using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.

Does this mean that you should outlaw the use of interstitial marketing in your practice? Well, not necessarily. Our SEO experts have been aware of the negative impact pop-up advertising can have on the user experience and SEO for some time and back in August they set up certain guidelines for using them with our clients. Their advice? Only use interstitials on a website when it is to promote an event, a sale or some promotion that is out of the ordinary and limited in time.  The interstitial should also have a purpose, like a login screen or an email capture. Sometimes, after all, you do want to get website visitor’s attention.  

Our SEO experts have also pointed out that interstitials that are in response to a legal obligation (such as for cookie usage or age verification) or banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible are not included in the penalty.

Online marketing can be complicated, but you don’t have to understand all of the nitty gritty of SEO yourself. Leave it to the experts! Contact Daniel today at or (412) 532-6542.

Topics: Google Updates, SEO, Google, Mobile, Mobile friendly

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