Wondering what an interstitial is? This is a term used to describe pages that interrupt or block the content you’re trying to reach by displaying an overlying message. You will often see this technique used online to collect email addresses or show an advertisement to visitors on the first page they view. The obvious goal here is to bring something important to a user’s attention in a way they cannot miss. While this is great in theory, the common side effect is frustrating your users.
We generally do not recommend using interstitials because of the frustration factor associated, however, they can be quite effective if you need to build an email list, increase sign-ups for events, or promote a particular product or service.
Aside from treating your users right, there is now another good defense against using interstitials. Google has confirmed they have begun rolling out an intrusive interstitial penalty on mobile search as of January 10th. This penalty is targeted at interstitials that happen directly after clicking through from a Google mobile result page. It sounds like this will not affect interstitials that happen after a user navigates to a second page. So in theory, you could potentially keep your interstitial but show on the second page a user views to avoid the penalty.
The image below from Google visually shows the types of interstitials that will be impacted.
The image below shows 3 types that will not be impacted if used responsibly by website owners.
If you are currently using an interstitial that you think could put you at risk, you’re welcome to contact our online marketing department and we can analyze it for you. In most cases, you will be able to compare the content to one of the illustrated examples above from Google to get an idea of how to proceed.
The best solution would be to remove it entirely to mitigate the risk. If that is not an option or not something you would like to do, there are a few ideas below:
The important takeaway from this article is that it is time to take action. If you’re using an interstitial on your website it is time to look at another solution as soon as possible so as to avoid the penalty.
If you’re reading this and you need to take action, our expert online marketing team can help. We can either remove your interstitial or assist in migrating it to a more Google mobile index-friendly format.Contact Us