Bye, bye, anonoying in your face pop-ups

Google will soon start penalizing websites that have annoying pop-ups when viewed from a mobile device. In a recent blog post of theirs titled “Helping users easily access content on mobile” they discussed the details on this. It has been mentioned by quite a few tech magazines already. Funnily enough I was just working on adding a pop-up to get more subscribers for my blog. So what does this mean for people using popups for lead generation or for creating a subscribers list?

Forbidden Popups

Essentially the pop-ups that will no longer be appreciated explicitly are the ones that are difficult to dismiss or close. The ones that make it really hard to get rid of. But also pop-ups that cover all content. To summarize the following pop-ups will no longer be appreciated by Google:

  • Popups that cover the whole content
  • Popups that show up right away and need dismissing before you can see the page
  • Layout where popup and page seem the same, but the original content is below the popup

forbidden pop-ups


Google does concede that in certain cases these type of pop-ups or interstitials are OK (taken for the bigger part from the blog post):

  • Pop-ups or Interstitials that appear to be in response to a legal obligation
  • Login dialogs on sites where content is not publicly accessible
  • Banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible. For example, the app install banners provided by Safari and Chrome are examples of banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space.

acceptable pop-ups

Questions Remaining

This does pose some questions. Whether or not exit intent popups are penalized is not clear yet for example. These show up after the visitor has read some content and intends to leave. Less intrusive I would think. Especially if they show after the visitor has spent some time on a blog post. And then there are pop-ups that show up after you have read some content and scrolled down a bit. Will these be penalized too?

We will be doing some more research on this.

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Jasper Frumau

Jasper has been working with web frameworks and applications such as Laravel, Magento and his favorite CMS WordPress including Roots Trellis and Sage for more than a decade. He helps customers with web design and online marketing. Services provided are web design, ecommerce, SEO, content marketing. When Jasper is not coding, marketing a website, reading about the web or dreaming the internet of things he plays with his son, travels or run a few blocks.