What does this Mean?
Here are the examples Google gave:
- Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.
- Displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
- Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.
Think of it like this way. You open a search result on your mobile device and you have to carefully press the tiny "X" on the corner of this popup be it to sign up for a newsletter or advertising a new product to read the content you searched for displayed below.
I find these annoying and I am sure many of you do too.
Are all Pop Ups Bad?
As for all Google penalties there are exceptions to this new algorithm.
- Pop Ups that appear to be in response to a legal obligation, such as for cookie usage or for age verification.
This makes sense for content that has a age restriction or informs users of cookie use. (Make them small and unobtrusive)
- Login dialogs on sites where content is not publicly indexable. For example, this would include private content such as email or undexable content that is behind a paywall.
This would be a requirement for the site for you to access the content. (If the content requires a login for the site it would not normally rank well anyway so not a common issue in this case.)
- Banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismiss able. For example, the app installs banners provided by Safari and Chrome are examples of banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space.
My suggestion would be make them small enough to be read and ensure heir position is say over the image banner and not obscuring important text.
Examples of acceptable Pop Ups
An example of an interstitial for age verification
An example of a banner that uses a reasonable amount of screen space