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Google Sending Warnings On Intrusive Interstitials

Google is sending out notices through Google Search Console for sites that have intrusive interstitials, searchengineland reports. It seems like those interstitials are ruining the page experience of the site – which, to be honest, doesn’t really come as a surprise.

hmm @JohnMu any guidance on the interstitial notice penalty notices in Google Search Console that some sites are seeing? I haven’t received one yet so don’t have a screenshot to share… — David Iwanow 🇺🇦 💉💉💉🇺🇦 (@davidiwanow) April 14, 2022

What are Intrusive Interstitials?

You know how you come to a website and all these popups appear, it all looks impossible to turn off, and you can’t see anything else on the page because of them? There’s your answer.

According to Google, intrusive interstitials and dialogs are elements of your page that block users’ view of the content. Usually, they are used for promotional purposes. Even though there are particular reasons when the use of these elements is justified, using them in this sense, results in users leaving your page, which means your page experience is not great. Plus, it makes it hard for search engines to understand your content – which leads to bad ranking.

How To Create Nonintrusive Dialogs?

The goal here is to create interstitials that won’t affect the users’ experience. If you want to grab the attention of your users, use banners that take up only a fraction of the screen instead of full-page interstitials.

Use common libraries – there are many CMS plugins available that create standard dialogs and interstitials for the most common use cases, including newsletter sign-up prompts. As plugin developers can deploy improvements at scale, these can be helpful for Google, other search engines, and the internet in general.

If you have to use a mandatory interstitial (age confirmation, for example), make sure the interstitial is overlaid on the content. That way at least some of the content can then be indexed by Google and potentially be indexed in search results.

Even though this isn’t a case of manual action, intrusive interstitials impact your page experience and affect your ranking. So, if you get this notice – act on it!