Google Has Officially Rolled Out the Mobile Intrusive Interstitials Penalty

Google has officially confirmed the intrusive interstitial penalty went live on January 10th. But, the full effect of this update hasn’t been recorded by webmasters just yet. 

As mentioned by Google, this penalty will only impact intrusive interstitials that happen after going from a Google search results to a specific landing page. However, it will not impact or penalize any other pages after that. 

As reported on Google Webmaster Central Blog, here are some examples of techniques that make content less accessible to a user:

  • Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.
  • Displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
  • Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.

Examples of interstitials that make content less accessible:

Intrusive popup

Intrusive popup

Intrusive standalone interstitial

Intrusive standalone interstitial

Intrusive standalone interstitial

Intrusive standalone interstitial

Google has also listed some examples that would not be affected by the new signal:

  • Interstitials that appear to be in response to a legal obligation, such as for cookie usage or for age verification.
  • Login dialogs on sites where content is not publicly indexable. For example, this would include private content such as email or unindexable content that is behind a paywall.
  • Banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible. For example, the app install banners provided by Safari and Chrome are examples of banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space.

Examples of interstitials that would not be affected by the new signal:

Cookie usage interstitial

Cookie usage interstitial

Age verification interstitial

Age verification interstitial

App install banner

App install banner

We haven’t seen any major reports coming from webmasters just yet, but we are sure we will be hearing more about this new update within the coming days.