Google‘s Interstitial Penalty was announced last year. This new wrinkle in the way Google displays a list of sites they deem relevant to the search, finally arrived in full deployment on January 10. And the rankings are dancing from what I am seeing.
Monitoring some of the assets I manage for my clients, I can tell you I can see the penalty in action.
I can see a few sites handled by competitors who use what’s called “floater” code to hide a popup like window off screen, to the right for example, to hide content. In the cases I see, there are usually links to other assets not related or relevant to the site owner’s business interests.
Google is now smart enough to see this happening, differentiate it from other behavior. And if they can be that specific, they will ask themselves if it passes their standards. It won’t.
For those site owners who have outsourced the SEO or even just simple Web Design work on your site, you may be vulnerable to this double whammy penalty in waiting. That sounds pretty bad, let me clarify…
It’s possible Google will be able to notice a correlation between those who use “interstitials” for the widely used and once accepted popup ads, and those who used the “floater” code for hiding links in the manner I just described.
Those who are caught late to the party about “interstitial” ads and have not changed that out, will only lose rankings. If all things considered, that was the only issue with your site, the rankings should bounce back, once handled.
However, if your site has a “floater” used to hide links in this manner, the site could be hit with a Penalty. You never want one of these.
And that’s the lurking problem with this Interstitial penalty… a lot of folks out there are not aware they have a “floater” on their site. They are by design there to not be seen, hidden in code. Google won’t be fooled. Google’s changed accepted Standards like this before. There is still time to avoid this issue, or find out if your sites are at risk, while Google’s re-spidering the entire internet. Contact me here for a private and efficient 30 minute consultation: 1 (888) 406-3484