Google is about to penalise sites that use annoying ads in particular
on mobile. The majority of Internet users don’t like pop-up ads, so Google has made the decision to give websites that use pop-ups reduced search results and may rank them lower because of it.
If a site with a pop-up still has the best information, it will still potentially appear first, and it’s unlikely that site owners will feel pressured to remove pop-ups immediately, but where two competitor sites are similar the removal of pop-ups will be beneficial.
The key issue and annoyance is viewing pop-ups on mobile devices, they may be useful including, discount vouchers and newsletter sign-ups as opposed to straight out advertising, but pop-ups like this with overlays are to be included.
Small overlays for legal requirements like ‘Age Verification’ will be OK but must just use a small area of the screen.
These pop-ups or ‘Overlays’ are the ones that display over a page and grey-out the main page below, it does not matter if it is straight away or delayed on visiting the site it will still be targeted, particularly those that cover a large part of the screen.
One of the key annoyances for mobile users is not the pop-up ad itself but the fact they cover the whole screen and are often difficult to close if at all!
The new change is due to come into effect on January 10th 2017 at which point Google will start reducing site ranking, where site content is not easily accessible due to pop-ups.