Pop-up ads, the internet’s biggest nuisance, may soon be detrimental to websites that uses them as Google has stated that it will be punishing websites that uses pop-ups an interstitials.
Beginning on January 10th 2017, Google will begin lowering the rank of sites “where content is not easily accessible.” The logic behind this is simple. As the site’s ranking begins to drop, a Google search for a specific subject will result in said website to be on a lower pecking order. Get low enough, and the website may not even appear on the first page of the search results. Websites that rely on Google search traffic will almost immediately feel the effects of this change, as lower ranking means lower foot traffic, which results in less visitors and ad revenue.
One thing to note is that Google isn’t going on a grand crusade against all forms of pop-ups and interstitials. Google will only be targeting pop-ups and interstitials that are considered intrusive. Examples include overlays that gray out the content beneath them, or those that require you to personally close them before proceeding with your content. Websites that uses interstitials responsibly, such as those informing you of website cookies, will not be affected by this move.