How To Avoid Google Penalties

google penalties

Do not poke Google in the eye!

You won’t like the consequences.

Google penalties are no joke! As the largest search engine, being penalized by Google can result in serious damage to your search engine ranking – and your business visibility.

Here’s how to stay on the good side of Google.

Watch today’s explainer video to learn how to avoid incurring penalties.

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Prepare For The Upcoming Popup Penalty

mobile popup penalty

Google will be punishing ad pop-ups in three months!

In our last post, we alerted you to the fact that Google is going to be changing how they rank websites that are using intrusive pop-ups and interstitials as of January 10th, 2017.

And where you rank with Google could have a big effect on your business, since we all know that very few people search beyond page 2 or three of Google rankings.

There are benefits of this upcoming punishment. The biggest benefit is that visitors will have easier access to content without dodging forced pop-ups and interstitials distracting and annoying them. As well, there will be no forced subscriptions or accidentally clicking on call to action buttons.

But there’s also a bit of a dilemma. If you show an ad via pop-up or interstitial on a mobile device, odds are your Google ranking will suffer. But if you don’t show an ad, how is your offer going to be found and how will your email subscriber list grow?

Like everything, there is a solution to every problem. Google has green-lighted some popups which will not be considered punishable and, as a result, will not affect your search ranking.

Google Webmaster tools says that interstitials appearing as a result to a legal obligation (such as for cookie usage or age verification) will not trigger a penalty. Additionally, login dialogs on sites where content is not publicly indexable, such as emails or an indexable content behind a pay wall, is also safe. And banners using a reasonable amount of screen space that are easily dismissible will also not be punished.

Also of note, this penalty is applied on a page by page basis, which means that while the page will be demoted in Google search, the entire site will not suffer.  Unless, of course, you are running popups on your entire site. If so, you could see a global drop in SERPs, as each could take a small hit.

There are legitimate solutions that will keep your rankings safe while still popping up to offer your products and services and/or to grow your list.

Consider the following alternatives, converting intrusive pop-ups to friendly pop-ups.

1. Hide pop-ups on mobile devices. By using display targeting rules in your pop-up program, you can hide pop-ups and interstitials from mobile devices, showing them only on desktops, avoiding Google’s penalty

2. Change your delivery method. Instead of using pop-ups and interstitial on mobile, use smaller messages such as banners, in lines, or slide ins. Actually, some of these alternatives actually show a better conversion rate as they are smaller and adjust to screen size.

There are lots of providers of pop-up programming available, some paid in some free. Do your research now, find a provider for your business, and be prepared for the changes in January.

Until next time…

Are you ready to grow your business now? If you’re ready to take the next step and make your business more profitable, contact us today.

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Popup Punishment Around The Corner

popup penalty

Are pop-ups your friend or your foe?

Well, that depends on whether you are using pop-ups for your website or online business, or if you’re an Internet surfer or website visitor.

Let’s face it, pop-ups can be annoying! All of us – even those who use pop-ups on their own sites – become impatient and annoyed with intrusive pop-ups. But pop-ups exist for one reason: they work!

Some statistics show that marketers have received a 1350% increase in subscription rates, as well as a conversion rate of 10 times by using pop-ups. And with mobile use increasing every year, many marketers have targeted their email subscription pop-ups to mobile devices as well as desktops, boosting their conversions to more than 1700%.

But all this is going to change as of January 10, 2017.

This is the date that Google has announced that it will begin penalizing mobile pages that are showing intrusive pop-up and interstitial ads, affecting their search results.

This is going to have a huge impact for many marketers as overlay pop-ups, full screen welcome mats and standalone interstitial have been huge conversion boosters for most people. But with Google still dominating the online search world, you had better be prepared for this change and begin looking for solutions.

There are three main reasons why Google started punishing sites using these for screen pop-ups and interstitials, keeping the user experience of mobile browsing in mind.

1. The main content is being blocked. Screen space on mobile devices is much smaller than on desktops, resulting in the main content of sites becoming obstructed with the display of pop-ups, overlays and interstitials.

2. Lousy user experience. Intrusive interstitials on pages results in a poorer user experience as compared to pages where content is immediately accessible. If your interstitials are spammy, difficult to dismiss, or diminish your users’ experience, your mobile page may be devalued.

3. Clicking ads accidentally. These pop-up ads tend to take up a huge amount of screen real estate while having the smallest possible buttons to close out and dismiss them, inevitably resulting in the user accidentally clicking on the ad.

So, what’s the penalty?

Google’s intention is to keep pace with the way users are accessing the Internet, and to ensure that users are finding the best answers to their questions as quickly as possible, regardless of the device. As a result, Google has decided to punish sites using these intrusive pop-ups on mobile devices, meaning if you continue to use these, your ranking may suffer if you are still using intrusive pop-ups for mobile users. Note that Google doesn’t penalize non-intrusive interstitials.

The three types of pop-ups and ads that are most likely to get you punished are:

1. An intrusive pop-up covering the main content, either immediately upon page load or while the visitor is looking through the page.

2. An intrusive interstitial that looks like a forced ad, requiring the user to dismiss before gaining access to the main content.

3. A full screen pop-up overlay, or standalone interstitial, requiring the user to dismiss before the main content is accessible.

There are pop-up solutions available that will help grow your lists and your conversions while coloring inside the new lines that Google has established. Use these guidelines and be prepared for next year. After all, as a user you will appreciate these changes.

Until next time…

Are you ready to grow your business now? If you’re ready to take the next step and make your business more profitable, contact us today.

If you like the information you are receiving, please consider forwarding this post.