Google will begin punishing sites with bothersome pop-up ads by sending them less web traffic.
(CCM) — Starting in January of next year, Google will begin to penalize mobile websites that feature intrusive interstitials — pop-ups that cover a page's main content and that may require a user to manually close the window in order to bypass it. This sort of content is most often used for advertising purposes, and Google is no longer willing to support it. Sites with interstitials have been found by the company to "provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible," wrote Doantam Phan, Product Manager at Google, in an official blog post. As a result, if a site contains interstitials, Google's mobile search feature may considerably reduce its ranking and, thus, the amount of traffic that it sends toward them. Pop-ups that will not lead to any consequences include legal notices (like cookie warnings), login dialogs, and banners of a reasonable size that can be easily dismissed.
Shunning sites with pop-up ads is not the first step that Google has taken in protecting users from annoying, undesirable content. In July, the company rolled out for its Nexus and Android One users spam call protection, which sends off a warning each time phone's caller ID system detects a potential unsolicited call.
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