Let’s be completely honest here: a lot of people have been overusing pop-ups in their marketing efforts, and they can be annoying. However, while all blinking, flashing pop-ups are definitely a no-no for any website, an elegant, well-placed and understated pop-up has been proven to improve list building.
Unfortunately, the former has caused a backlash against the latter, and the latest fallout in the battle of the pop-ups comes in the form of a Google penalty.
While that may send you into a panic, it’s not all doom and gloom. Here’s what you need to know:
1. You Have Time
Google has announced that it will be penalizing sites for certain types of pop-ups, but they won’t be doing it immediately. In fact, the changes are due to come into effect in 2017. Which is a lot more warning than we’ve had for most of the big Google changes so far!
2. It’s Not Universal
The king of all search engines isn’t penalizing all sites for pop-ups. They’ve decided to make this a mobile specific change and only sites that use pop-ups on mobile are being targeted. This means that if you disable pop-ups for your mobile site, you still keep your mobile friendly tag, which is, admittedly, a big deal for search rankings.
3. It’s Broader Than Pop Ups
The truth is, this change is not only about pop-ups. Google is trying to improve the mobile user experience all round, so they’re targeting all sites that use interruption marketing, or use the area above the fold purely for email gathering purposes.
If you don’t put list building ahead of customer experience on your site, you’ll probably be fine.
4. Allowed Within Reason
Google understands that the internet is a major marketing arena for most companies, and they’re not unreasonable. Which means that you won’t be penalized for all above the fold marketing. As long as your marketing doesn’t take over the page, you’re in good shape!
5. Mobile Friendly Sites Are the Future
Since Google added the mobile friendly tag to search results, more than 85% of all sites have opted to change their design to keep up with the times. This is more proof that mobile friendliness is here to stay. So while the mobile friendly tag may be disappearing soon, it doesn’t mean it will disappear as a ranking factor.
Make sure that your website works for mobile users, and put their needs ahead of your desire to gather marketing data. It really is that simple.
Author: Mike Gingerich, President of web firm Digital Hill, Co-Founder of TabSite .
Digital and Social Media Marketer, Speaker, and Business Consultant. Part geek, part marketer, total digital junkie! Seeking to add value, make the complex simple, and leave a positive impact.
Follow me on twitter: @mike_gingerich.