Are you ready for #PopUpDoomsday?
In less than a week, after January 10th, 2017, Google will begin penalizing pages that use intrusive mobile interstitials. In an effort to improve the mobile search experience and help users find the content they’re looking for more quickly, “pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.”
Google is specifically targeting popup techniques that make it more difficult for users to access content, including showing popups that cover the main content, displaying a standalone interstitial that has to be dismissed before accessing the main content on a page, and using a layout that results in the portion of the page above-the-fold appearing to be a standalone interstitial. For more details on the specific techniques that will hurt you, as well as those that will be unaffected by the new signal, as long as they are used responsibly, read Google’s blog post on "Helping users easily access content on mobile."
Don’t be caught flat-footed. Before next Tuesday, January 10th, 2017, make sure you’ve evaluated any mobile interstitials you have running. Talk with your internal and external SEO and performance marketing teams about any potential impact to your rankings, results, and metrics. And then make a plan for what you’ll do to replace mobile popups. While they've become increasingly annoying, they have historically provided increased goal conversion. You’ll need to work harder to make up the difference in creative ways.
While we do not recommend chasing Google updates, we do think it's important to be aware of them. Google's core mission is built around providing stellar search experience, so continue to focus on creating a top-notch experience that makes sense for your users--one that is informed by data analysis and doesn't put roadblocks in the way.
Chad Ledford, co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer of leading social marketing solution (and Oracle Commerce Cloud partner), AddShoppers, coined the phrase “#PopUpDoomsday” last year, and has spent a lot of time thinking about this topic. He held a webinar aimed at helping retailers understand the impact of these changes to their SEO and marketing strategies. You can still get access to the replay online.
As we get nearer to the impending deadline, take a few additional minutes to find out opinions from seven SEO experts on Google’s upcoming mobile marketing changes and what they mean for you and your competitors. Maximizing your mobile SEO strategy is becoming increasingly important--keep your eye on this critical area as you plan for 2017.