In August 2016, Google announced some changes to search ranking and accessibility policies with respect to mobile devices, websites, and opt-in forms. Here is what you need to know.
Mobile-friendly sites rank higher on Google.
In 2014, Google introduced the mobile-friendly label next to search results to show sites that would appear well on mobile without having to zoom in and where links far apart enough so that each link could be pressed on easily whilst viewing on a mobile device.
Google found that 85% of sites meet the mobile-friendly criteria and will be removing the mobile-friendly lable.
However, the mobile-friendly criteria will affect ranking.
Smaller, appropriate opt-in forms, and pop-up information will rank higher on Google.
As of 10th January 2017, Google say that interstitials that are not appropriate or too large on pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on a mobile device may not rank as highly.
What is an interstitial?
an advertisement that appears while a chosen website or page is downloading.
I would say that this includes any type of pop-up that appears over the main page content.
What is appropriate use?
Google say that interstitials that are displayed due to a legal obligation, such as for cookie usage or for age verification.
Login dialog boxes on sites where content is not publicly indexable also are an appropriate use of interstitials. For example, content such as private, login, member-only content such as email, or unindexable content such as that behind a paywall.
Google also say that banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible.
I would say to simply size your opt-in forms or pop-up information to use less than 25% of the height of a mobile device screen.
How to make your site mobile friendly and rank higher on Google.
You can use mobile friendly responsive themes and templates for the design of your site pages and also use appropriate opt-in form and pop-up advert systems. Click here to contact me for help making your site mobile and Google friendly.