Earlier today, SearchEngineLand reported confirmation that Google rolled out it’s Intrusive Mobile Interstitial penalty yesterday. Quite a mouthful, I know, and its actually a bit of a tricky one to get your head around. So, you’d be forgiven if you glossed over it and just moved on.
However, that confusion and difficulty to understand is exactly why I’m here. So, let’s take a look at this new update and what it actually is.
What Is An Intrusive Interstitial?
So, let’s start the beginning, shall we? What the bloody hell is an intrusive interstitial? Or rather, what is an interstitial in general?
An interstitial is basically a pop up or an overlay the covers the content of a page. Typically, this could be an overlay that appears when adding something to your basket, where you are asked how many of that item you want.
On the other hand, an intrusive interstitial is one that pops up without any engagement with the website. It will typically be an advert of some kind that you are required to engage with before it will let you see the content. One example of this would be when a pop up asking for you to join a mailing list appears, and you either have to submit your email address or click on a “no, i don’t want help” button or something similar.
These often grey out or blur the content, and make the page unreadable until you engage with them. On mobile devices, they are even more common, and incredibly annoying for the user. And Google knows this! And that’s why we now have their Interstitial Penalty update.
So, What Interstitials Are Acceptable?
That’s the next major question to ask. As interstitials can be useful to both the site owner and the user, it’s now really important to understand what you are able to do and not allowed to do.
These three examples of interstitials are safe for use. Basically, they are either offering necessery information for the user, carrying out legal necessities, or take up such a small amount of screenspace that they don’t take away from the content. In each of these scenarios, the interstitial is acceptable and will not be penalised by Google.
So, if your interstitials are based around providing the user with a better experience, and not to get in their face, you should be ok!
Great, But What Isn’t Allowed?
So yeah, the final thing to understand is what you aren’t allowed to do with interstitials anymore. So, let’s throw in another image with some examples, shall we?
As you can see, in each of these examples, in order to access the content that is blocked by the interstitials, you need to either click on a very hard to touch button, or engage with the content someway, even though they don’t actually help the user in any way.
Interstitials that block the content and force engagement when their only reason is to gain information on the user or advertise a product, are no longer allowed. Again, if you look at it in basic terms, if an interstitial does not help or provide assistance to the user, it goes against the rules and will be penalised.
It’s Pretty Simple Really
Basically, you just need to make sure that any interstitial you are using on your website are for the benefit of the user, or to follow legal guidelines. As long as this is the case, you’ll be completely fine. If this isn’t the case, and you are using interstitials to get information or show an advert in an intrusive way, now would be a really good time to stop!
What are your opinions on the Intrusive Interstitial Penalty? I, for one, welcome it, but what about you? Let me know in the comments below!