What does Google think about popups?
by Andrew Dear
July 26, 2018 — 10:58 AM EDT

Google uses an extremely complex algorithm to decide the order that links show up in on their search engine. The way that they come up with these results is a closely guarded secret. Though the algorithm they use may be private, throughout various material on their site they give us clues behind their logic.

Though a highly speculated topic, Google’s material has never covered their stance on interstitials (aka popups) and if they can affect pagerank until the relatively recent past. In 2017 Google blogged some information about interstitials and how they’re modifying their search engine algorithm to include rules about them.

Mobile search results are generated by a slightly different algorithm than results from a non mobile browser like a PC. Google has stated that the new rules about interstitials only applies specifically to mobile search results. This is because of an initiative by Google since 2015 to make their search results higher quality for users on mobile devices.

Mobile devices have smaller screens compared to PC’s and require added user friendliness. This is why they have taken a stance against certain types of popups that obscure content for no good reason. When there isn’t much viewing area in the first place, requiring visitors to try to figure out how to close an intrusive popup provides a bad user experience.

Their initiative only targets a very specific scenario where a popup launches immediately after a visitor navigates from their search engine to your website. It also only applies if your popup does not have a genuine intention. For example, popups that are in response to legal obligation such as Terms of Service notices, cookie usage agreement, age verification, app install banners, and even any popups that leave a reasonable amount of space and are easily closable are all okay to use and will not be affected by the change.

We couldn’t agree more with Google’s position and strongly believe marketing tools like popups need to be used intelligently and with purpose. Our platform helps you do just that by providing all the tools you could possibly need to comply with these rules and provide your users with a high quality browsing experience.

If you want to know if your website fits Google’s standards as a mobile friendly site, you can use their tool located here.