Over the last several years Google has been taking measures to improve the user experience of mobile users. One of the changes introduced earlier this year was the "intrusive interstitial" update. We know some of you have been worried about being penalized for using GetSiteControl widgets, so let's discuss what this update means and how you can make sure your website doesn't violate Google's guidelines.
According to Google, an intrusive interstitial is a popup, banner or overlay that can interfere with the user experience on mobile devices. Simply put, Google doesn't like popups that take up most of the mobile screen.
Since some of GetSiteControl widgets fit this description, we decided we needed to provide our customers with an option that would let them comply with the guidelines on interstitials.
[NEW] Google-friendly mobile popups
While Google's official guidelines and definitions are rather vague, they do say that to comply with the guidelines, interstitials should "use a reasonable amount of screen space". Now you have the option to make your GetSiteControl widgets do just that. Simply check the option Enable unobtrusive mobile view on the Appearance tab and your popups will take no more than 30% of the screen when viewed on mobile devices. If you want to see how your widget will look like on an actual mobile device, switch to the mobile preview using the buttons under the preview window.
Important things to remember:
- There seems to be no reason to panic even if you do use classic popups. In Google's own words, "this new signal is just one of hundreds of signals that are used in ranking. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content."
- The update only affects popups on mobile devices, desktop popups are not affected.
If you have any questions about the new 'unobstrusive' mobile feature, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.