Google Have Their Say on GDPR Pop-Ups

As you will know, during May the hot topic of GDPR became a reality. There has been much talk of the “email bombardment” leading up to this but now Google have had their say on website reaction post-deadline.

Since 25th May, many websites have chosen to display a notice detailing their privacy policy and GDPR compliance changes. These have ranged from small banners that the less observant may have missed, through to intrusive pop-ups you cannot avoid.

In light of this, Google have announced they will make no exceptions to their pre-existing Intrusive Mobile Interstitial Penalty for notifications regarding GDPR.

What is the Intrusive Mobile Interstitial Penalty?

An interstitial is an ad that appears while a page is downloading. The penalty applies to any interstitials which Google determine to be pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results”. Essentially where the interstitial becomes a barrier between the user and the content they wish to view.

The policy was rolled out in January 2017, so the principle is nothing new to search marketing. For websites Google deems to breach the policy a drop in rankings can be expected.

What don’t Google Like?

When Google introduced the penalties they highlighted three main types of problematic interstitials.

  • Showing a popup which covers the main content, either immediately from the search results or while they are looking through the page.
  • Displaying a standalone interstitial the user is required 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 lies underneath the fold.
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