safe guard mobile



Google has recently taken the decision to penalize mobile sites that displayed annoying popups. While this is beneficial for readers and users, it is a huge problem for marketers. Known as mobile interstitials, these popups were extremely effective at generating leads.

However, Google has already started to enforce their new policy. As a result, mobile sites that run popup banners will start to lose their rank. Interestingly, the penalties only affect mobile ranking. Of course, there is a reason why Google is targeting interstitials especially in mobiles. On smaller screens, common to many mobiles, interstitials can be quite problematic.


All mobile sites are not going to be affected by the new policy however. Sites using interstitials to display legal information or for logins, will not suffer from the penalty. If the banner is small enough to be dismissed easily, the site will not be affected. The penalty will only be levied in the following cases.

  • Sites which use interstitials that hide the content as the users visit their site or while the users are browsing.
  • Sites that use interstitials which need to be closed before the content can be accessed.
  • Sites whose main content lies below the fold while a message resembling interstitials lies above it.


It is easily to believe that Google will not be targeting your site with this penalty. However, following some precautions can ensure that the risks of attracting a penalty are as low as possible. It is not easy to determine to what extent this new policy is going to affect your site after all. Here are some things you can take care of.

  • Ensure that mobile users can instantly access the content they are after when visiting your site.
  • If you use popups, make sure that they serve a reasonable purpose. For example, you can use interstitials for age verification or legal reasons among others.
  • Ensure that the interstitials are permanently removed. They should not reappear as the users are scrolling the page.
  • Work on developing a content strategy that is less intrusive for generating leads.
  • Examine the advantage of organic ranking in the long-term with the short-term effects of removing interstitials.
  • You can still use interstitials for the desktop versions of your site as the desktop is not being targeted by this update.
  • It is possible for you to display interstitials when the user is moving from one page to another within your website.
  • You can display mobile interstitials during the exit of the user from your site.
  • If you have a WordPress site and use plugins for the mobile interstitials, you can make minor adjustments to comply with the new update. You simply need to make sure that your banner does not cover the main content of the page.
  • You should never forget the importance of being mobile-friendly. It is vital to success.

It is easy to see why Google is taking steps against interstitials. After all, they want to provide the best experience through their search results. As a marketer, you must understand this and work to develop alternatives to your lead generation programs.