You know the annoying page takeovers asking if you want to sign up for a mailing list? Specifically, the types that are condescending as hell – Do You Want to be Rich? Nah bro, I was thinking about staying poor. But damn if those penny stock picks don’t sound enticing. If enticing meant I wanted to lose my house.

Google feels your pain and come January 10, 2017; the search giant will start dinging sites that have intrusive pop-ups on mobile. That’s awfully specific on the timeframe. It’s not like mobilegeddon where slow publishers needed time to make their sites responsive.

Takeover pop-ups are gone with a single click. But hey, keep annoying the hell out of users with the sign-up boxes. Then make a New Year’s resolution to click the button from modal to slide-in. Thank the internet gods the Welcome Mat will be gone. Holy hell, what an annoying sign-up option. The money may be in the list, but it’s damn tempting to pay sites to make it stop.

Before we all start rejoicing that Forbes will be forced to quit with its ‘quote of the day’ ploy to see if you’ll click the ad, check your expectations. Google has already pointed out a high-quality site (translation, old authority site) will be allowed to hold their rankings despite the new rules.

And there are exceptions to the rule. App installers, age verification, and cookie consent pop-ups are all clear. Adverts that use ‘a reasonable amount of screen space’ are good to go.

google will allow some pop-ups

bad pop-ups according to google

Nice out for Google considering its rollout of Page Level Ads for Adsense for all publishers. One of the mobile formats is an interstitial ad that pops up randomly as a user browses a mobile site.

The other ad format which includes takeover ads is inside the App ecosphere. Some publishers are dinging that format as a ‘do as Google says, not as they do.’ That’s not really the case for mobile apps. It’s entirely different separate from search and user initiated. Still annoying, but not much Google can control – plus earnings have to be met.

The AdSense program presents an interesting contradiction in that it’s a full takeover ad, but loads the destination URL to load in the background, so it’s present on the exit.

Mobile Only?

The word from our masters at Google HQ is the rollout is for mobile only. It’s interesting considering the company’s recent stance on AMP. Good luck getting any popup newsletter to pass validation for AMP indexing.

If I had to guess, Google is picking on mobile, but desktop search isn’t far behind. Can we get a rule in place for the pushdown video ads? Hell, I’d rather have the Welcome Mat than the auto-playing videos.

Publishers have until January to start thinking of new ways to get people signing up for newsletters. Want an easy button? A slide-in that comes in at 50-75% scroll. No modal window greying out the content and you’re site’s ‘pissed off bounce rate’ metric will see a nice decline.

Gear. TV. Movies. Lifestyle. Photography. Yeah, I’m the type who sees a shiny object and is immediately captivated. Wait... There’s another. You can reach me at marcus@newsledge.com

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