As Google continues its valiant efforts to bring the well-written, valuable content to all devices, a new problem is on the horizon for some websites. A few months ago, it was announced that Google will begin to devalue website interstitials – which is content that appears over a main page before users can access that page. Although initially perceived as something that would only affect SEO on mobile websites, it may affect all websites.
This is significant in the race to gain good SEO, so the best SEO consultants must be aware of this concern and advise clients about using interstitials. Businesses should always work with an experienced SEO company that is alert to such issues and how to get the best SEO results.
What Are Website Interstitials?
Interstitials are pop-over pages that appear on a website to encourage a user to download something being offered on that page or link to a specific location on the website. The best SEO consultants say this is commonly used on mobile sites, although they are also popular on standard, desktop sites when used as ways to advertise a product or direct people to a sales page. While these overlays may have a certain value, they make viewing a web page more difficult, especially on a mobile device, and are disruptive to any user experience.
The Frustration of Interstitials
Although they serve a purpose, even just as an advertisement; however, research shows that interstitials annoy website users on any platform. A good SEO company should know that using interstitials slows down the progress of a user through a website and prevents immediate access to desired navigation until the pop-up is clicked off. They are especially annoying on a mobile device, as it is often easier to accidentally click the pop-up, rather than close it. A user is then brought to a completely different page than the desired one. The truth is, the majority of interstitials do not provide any valuable content to the user, making them a bother – not a help.
Google’s and Interstitials
It should be obvious by now that Google’s main interest is the user. Google wants to provide an accurate search that delivers good results. Given the fact that interstitials prevent this by initially stopping the user from reaching desired content, instead reaching an unwanted link, Google sees this as disruptive to good search results. What this means for a website using interstitials is that once this algorithm change goes into effect in the next few months, any page that directs indexers to content with interstitials will begin to see a loss of page rank and SEO.
While it has been said by Google that the interstitial page itself will be viewed negatively and affect the entire website in terms of page rank and SEO, it is still uncertain if the content behind the interstitial will also be devalued. If this is the case, the use of interstitials will become even more detrimental to any website using them.
Although some websites benefit from interstitials, the time is quickly approaching where the negatives will outweigh the positives, in terms of generating the best SEO to gain Google’s approval and a good page rank. Any business should carefully consider these issues and work with the best SEO company to determine if interstitials provide enough positive results to continue their use. Site development, and continued management by experienced SEO consultants, must always take into consideration any Google changes, the reasoning behind such changes, and the effect of any penalties for not complying with new search engine rules!
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