Google defines “intrusive interstitials” as elements that overlay on an entire web page, obstructing users’ view of the content.
In 2016 Google issued a warning about interstitials, stating they can frustrate users and provide a poor user experience.
Since 2017, intrusive interstitials have been a Google organic ranking signal. That “intrusive interstitials update” was only for mobile users, leaving publishers confident that desktop interstitials were acceptable.
In 2021 Google rolled out an update focused on the desktop user experience. Google confirmed then that intrusive interstitials affected desktop rankings, too. Soon after, Google posted warnings in Search Console directing users to remove or correct an intrusive interstitial — or see their rankings decline.
The immediate ranking impact of the 2017 and 2021 updates was mild. Nonetheless, web admins who value organic search traffic should play it safe and align interstitials to Google’s requirements.
However, interstitials remain the most effective way to build an email list and attract leads. Google itself shared that mobile interstitials drove 23% more revenue to a games developer. And, depending on the study, upwards of 40% of email signups are on interstitials.
Here’s how to use interstitials without getting into trouble with Google.
Dialogs Are Better
Per Google, interstitials cover the entire page, preventing interaction until closed, and “dialogs” cover only part of the page.
Google approves of dialogs...
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