Mobile Pop-Ups, Interstitial Ads Could Cost You Google Visibility

Is Google about to hammer your site for using mobile pop-ups and interstitial ads?

Now here’s a monster development from those diabolical search masters at Google: A couple of weeks back, news broke that the company would be cracking down on mobile pop-ups and interstitial ads. What kind of cracking down, you ask? The only kind that counts – the kind that keeps consumers, readers, and potential subscribers from seeing your content in search.

Suffice it to say, these are are not happy tidings for more than a few content marketers and digital publishers. While no one should abuse mobile pop-ups as a tactic, they’re not inherently evil, of course. And despite claims to the contrary, some consumers even like them – or at least respond to them. Many purists might decry them as bottom-feeding, but many others have found success with them.

Still, we would never want Mequoda Members to limit themselves to mobile pop-ups and interstitial ads, or even rely on them too heavily. Instead, we emphasize floatersOFIEs, text ads, and other elements of our innovative approach to website conversion architecture for publishers. See, if you decide to deactivate mobile pop-ups, which is a test we are trying internally right now, OFIEs take the place of the ad because they’re at the top of the page, just like a Floater.

Senior Digital Strategist with Renegade LLC, and Co-Managing Editor of Social Media Explorer Don Power has some thoughts to share on the matter, including the fact that his site, which has seen big numbers with mobile pop-ups and interstitial ads, will seek to circumvent the change somehow with an updated strategy, even soliciting solutions from his readership. He certainly won’t be alone!

“After having recently tweaked this interstitial content on our desktop-based website to include a signup to our Slack community, we saw signups triple that of our normal conversion rate. We expect a proportionate increase in signups on our mobile site as well. With the success we’ve seen, we’re reluctant to give up on this effective form of end-user engagement with our brand. And we suspect you may be reluctant to give up your interstitials too,” Power writes.

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“So, what’s a self-respecting marketing blog (published by a renegade-thinking marketing agency) to do? Well, we researched potential solutions to this impending threat by Google (the threat being the possibility of diminished search visibility and ranking in its algorithm — admittedly a “meh” to some and “death from above” to others). Unfortunately, it appears nobody is offering any solutions, workarounds, or alternatives. And for the time being, neither are we.”

Well, like Power, we’d love to hear your ideas on what this is going to mean and how you might handle it. We’re currently testing a few mobile-only conversion strategies between now and January, when Google will start the “punishing.” But we’ll also continue to advocate for floaters and other less aggressive – but just as or even more effective – maneuvers like OFIEs.

What sort of damage would a Google crackdown on mobile pop-ups and interstitial ads do to your digital efforts? Let’s discuss in the comments.

To read more about Google’s potential new policy on mobile pop-ups and other industry news, visit Social Media Explorer.

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