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What are intrusive interstitials and how are they affecting your mobile SEO score?

What are intrusive interstitials and how are they affecting your mobile SEO score?

7th April 2020

If your website is found showing intrusive interstitials Google will demote your content in its mobile search results!

In recent years Google has started prioritizing mobile websites due to the growing popularity in mobile searches. Therefore, they are now putting in place a series of criteria to make all website mobile-friendly. This new algorithm update penalizes a website for any obstruction that affects the user experience. Ultimately resulting in a negative outcome for the mobile SEO score.

Intrusive interstitials

Images from Google Webmaster Central Blog

What are intrusive interstitials?

Intrusive interstitials are essentially just popup ads. Specifically, anything that blocks most or all of a mobile landing page. Banners and overlays can also be classed as an intrusive interstitial if it leads to bad user experiences. Google has given a few examples of a negative experience following an assertive popup.

  1. As previously mentioned – any popup, banner or overlay that covers most if not all content.
  2. An unresponsive interstitial. If it is difficult to close on a mobile device it would be classed as unresponsive.
  3. One that isn’t triggered by a user action. Including actions such as ‘click here to subscribe’ buttons.
Positive interstitials

Images from Google Webmaster Central Blog

Are any interstitials allowed?

There are however a few examples of interstitials that are allowed. When used responsibly you would not be penalised for the following:

  1. Any interstitials that are in response to a legal obligation such as cookie policies or age verifications.
  2. Banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space which are easily dismissable.

With Google showing an increasing preference for mobile, don’t let intrusive interstitials affect your mobile SEO ranking.