As a consumer, there are two things that really wind me up when I’m trying to access websites – one is when they take forever to load, the other is when the content I want to see is blocked by an annoying pop-up ad. Both have seen me give up, get out of there with the ‘back arrow’, or type in a new URL, usually for a competitor’s site.
Of course, as a marketeer, I’m well aware that pop-up advertising is an important part of many digital campaigns, just not part of a strategy I’d recommend. Hopefully a new algorithm change by Google will see this particularly irritating type of digital advertising be cleaned up and removed, to make the online experience more enjoyable.
Google announced earlier this week that a revision to its algorithm, due to be launched in early January 2017, will see websites punished if they use pop-ups, and assigned lower rankings. It’s particularly going after three types of pop-up ads: ones that cover the bulk of content on a webpage, a temporary page that has to be closed before seeing the chosen page, and ads that fill the whole screen so are forced to scroll before viewing content.
Google makes much of its revenue from advertising, so banning pop-ups may seem like it’s shooting itself in the foot. But of course, anything which improves the consumer experience and makes people less likely to use ad-blocking software will ultimately benefit Google.
It’s given companies several months warning- plenty of time to adjust advertising strategies, and come up with a more creative and enjoyable ad solution.