Google jail is not a cyber prison, but a punishment that your website can experience. Due to the rise of Google searches coming from mobile devices, Google has introduced an update that may land your website in Google jail. Use these mobile web design tips to avoid getting locked up.
Mobile Web Design Tips and How to Avoid Google Jail
Earlier this year, Google introduced an algorithm that punished websites for having intrusive pop-up ads. The algorithm update is known as Intrusive Interstitial Penalty (IIP), and it’s designed to target mobile websites with intrusive pop-up ads that interfere with user experience.
When Google bots crawl your website, they check for intrusive interstitials present on the mobile version of your website.
Impact of Intrusive Interstitial Penalty
Ads displayed over content are no longer acceptable on a mobile version of any website because they hinder mobile user experience. Violators of the IIP are not considered mobile friendly by Google. The basis of SEO tips is to increase Google ranking. After IIP went into effect, some websites reported lower Google rankings.
Non-intrusive interstitials are acceptable
Certain interstitials will not result in a visit to Google jail. Age verification blockers and legally required pop-ups that deal with adult-content do not result in penalties.
Overall, overlays, banner ads, inlines, and pop-ups will not result in a penalty for the desktop version of the website. The IIP was implemented to focus on user experience affecting mobile web design.
As the IIP is still a new algorithm, some practices are still in a gray area. Some examples include coupon pop-ups, share buttons, and live chat bots.
If you are not sure if your interstitials would be considered intrusive, it would best to avoid covering this content. It is recommended that pop-ups cover less than 15% of the mobile website.
What to do if your website suffers an Intrusive Interstitial Penalty
When redesigning your website, you should start by auditing your pop-ups before the Google bots have a chance to crawl the page. Make sure that any pop-ups take up less than 15% of the screen. This is reminiscent of responsive web design, which takes the size of a screen and the web browser into consideration when designing a web page.
It is important not to panic if you suffer a penalty. Fix any mistakes that were deemed as intrusive and wait for the Google bots to re-crawl your website. Submit your website to the Google Search Console to begin the recrawl procedure. The bots should re-crawl your website fairly quickly and take note of your resolutions.
Avoid Google Jail with Mvestor
Modern web design is an ever-evolving phenomenon. Here at Mvestor, we stay up to date on all modern web design. Learn more about our process of web design basics.