August 4, 2022
Google mobile interstitial penalty

Google Mobile Interstitials Penalty not Affecting a Majority of Sites

The well-announced and much-anticipated Google mobile interstitials penalty isn’t impacting more than half of sites, according to a Twitter audience survey…

Back in August of last year, a new Google mobile intrusive interstitials penalty was first announced. Its scheduled release date of January 10th has come and gone. The penalty was also confirmed live days later.

At the end of January, some sites began reporting its impact on language and country selector pop ups. But, the penalty’s effect isn’t yet widespread, according to a new Search Engine Journal Twitter audience survey.

Google Mobile Interstitials Penalty not Hitting 51 Percent of Websites

By design, the Google mobile intrusive interstitials penalty targets sites with all-too-familiar pop ups that degrade user experience. Ostensibly, the pop up penalty downgrades sites in organic search results.

“Pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as high. As we said, this new signal is just one of hundreds of signals that are used in ranking and 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,” Google wrote on its Webmasters blog.

Of the SEJ audience survey respondents, only 6 percent report a mobile interstitials penalty impact, while 51 percent report no effect and 43 aren’t yet certain.

Search Engine Journal Twitter audience survey
Credit: Search Engine Journal

However, this doesn’t mean the pop up penalty is ineffective. It’s possible Google needs to carry out a fresh web crawl before more impact occurs. This fresh crawl protocol is tentatively confirmed by Gary Illyes:

So, sites already impacted by the penalty and have taken action to correct probably need to wait until it’s re-crawled to lift the penalty.

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Owen E. Richason IV

Covers social media, apps, search, and similar news. History buff, movie, and theme park lover. Blessed dad and husband.     

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