The impact (and lack thereof) of Google’s mobile popup algorithm
Back in August 2016, Google warned that it would be releasing an algorithm to crack down on interstitials on mobile pages. Now that the update has been live for a month, columnist Glenn Gabe shares his findings on the impact.
It’s not often that Google announces an algorithm update in advance. But when they do, not only can webmasters prepare for that update, we can also track its rollout once Google pulls the trigger. That provides a rare opportunity to gauge the impact of the algorithm update and determine what its effects are.
That’s exactly what I’ve been doing since January 10, 2017.
In August of 2016, Google announced that they would be rolling out an update on January 10, 2017, that could impact URLs employing intrusive mobile popups or interstitials. For example, if a URL presented an interstitial that covered a substantial part of the content, then that URL could be demoted in the mobile search results. The web as a whole cheered, as many users were extremely frustrated by aggressive mobile popups.
So, as January approached, many SEOs, webmasters and business owners wondered what the actual impact would be. Would there be mass casualties, minor bumps in the algorithmic road or something in between? Based on Google’s announcement, you would think that sites employing intrusive popups or interstitials would have gotten smoked by the algorithm. That would make sense, but when you’re dealing in an algorithmic world, the devil is in the details.
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