What are interstitials and are they hurting your SEO

Many-a-times you must have come across situations when you try to open a webpage, or when you are downloading something and an unwanted advertisement keeps on interfering with you. It actually is a sort of interruption between you accessing your desired web page. Well, that is what we, technically call as, interstitial ads or pop-ups. Interstitials are actually any advertisement that appears while a chosen website or web page is loading.

Commonly known as pop-ups, these are mostly used on websites to promote marketing content or as paid advertisements throughout the site. No one actually likes these. Clicking on that ‘X’ sign every time, the midst of any important work that you must be going through. Sometimes, these ads don’t have this sign, too, making the browsing experience for the user, even worse. Recently, Google updated its algorithm to penalize websites that use interstitial ads. According to the Global internet usage statistics for devices, most of the internet users use a smartphone to get through the web. There are more mobile users (52.7%) worldwide than desktop users.

Google did come up with these changes so as to incentivize websites to work on their mobile-friendliness. To continue with these efforts, the area of focus for Google has been to reduce intrusive pop-ups that obstruct visitors from landing on the content they’re looking for. Failing to abide by the new Google rules, could have a negative impact on your SEO. SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the number of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-rank placement in the search results pages of a search engine (SERP), including Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others.

How the interstitial ads and pop-ups and on a web page, affect their SEO?

Interstitials Hurting Your SEO

According to the new rules of Google regarding the interstitial ads and pop-ups, if the interstitial ads on a website fall under the following 3 categories, the websites will get penalized

  • If the interstitial ad covers up the main content of the page, making it difficult for the visitor to understand where he/she has landed.
  • If, in case the interstitial ad or pop-up appears at the top part of a web page, because of which the user needs to scroll down to see the main content.
  • If the interstitial ad or pop-up of the web page covers the entire page so that the user needs to exit out of the ad, in order to access the main content of the web page.

Well, in addition to these, there are some rules and exceptions for how an interstitial ad or pop-up must be used, that when followed by a website or a web page owner, can prevent them from being penalized. One of the exceptions is that if a website or web page uses legal language to enter a site, for example, if it informs its users that it uses cookies, it will not be penalized. Another exception is, if a website has a barrier with a purpose, for example, if a website visitor has to be of a certain age, to enter that site, then the interstitial ad or pop-up to verify the age of the user, would not affect the SEO of that website. Moreover, there are some rules, too, using which, a website or web page won’t be penalized.

  • If the website, makes uses of banners, instead of interstitial ads and pop-ups
  • If the ad or pop-up uses only a reasonable amount of space on the web page
  • If the interstitial ad or pop-up doesn’t cover the main content of the web page
  • If the interstitial ad or pop-up is placed below the fold.
  • If the timing of the in-ad or pop-up is set in such a way, that it doesn’t appear immediately on the page
  • If the frequency of the interstitial ads or pop-ups on a website or a web page is less
  • If the websites or web pages are made in a way, that they are mobile-friendly, that there’s no need for any interstitial ad or pop-up. The more mobile-friendly a web page or website is, the more is their SEO rankings. 

    Interstitials Hurting Your SEOAlso, above all an interstitial ad or pop-up on a website or a web page, requires time, before a user can actually get through a webpage’s main content. Statistics show that if, loading a web page requires, more than 10 seconds, people prefer to move their cursor to hit the ‘back’ button, and 75% of people never return to that website or web page. 

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