Interstitials have been on Google’s radar for a while now, Google hates anything that pops up interrupting the users website experiences especially if its advertising or non related content.
Beginning 1st Jan 2017, Google will start lowering websites with pop up or intertitials, most large blogs and website have already taken steps to reduce the pop ups on their sites, but for those who haven’t done so yet, have till the year end to comply.
According to Google, techniques that make content less accessible to a user will be penalized. Some of the commonly used techniques are:
1) Showing pop ups before and after navigation:
– If your website has a pop up as soon as the users lands on the pages or moves out of the page then it could be triggered as a non compliant website and penalized for lower ranking. This includes users coming from search engines or search campaigns.
2) Stand alone pop ups:
– Having a stand along pop up that the user has to close before proceeding to read the content.
3) Above the fold pop ups:
– Website or blogs using black hat tactics to show pop up above the fold without any relevancy to the page content
Google wants to simplify mobile searches but will not penalize all sites with interstitials. If the intent is good and enhances the experience, Google will not penalize the site.
However its best to remove the pop up to avoid the penalty. This is just one of the hundreds of signals that Google uses to rank sites.