How Intrusive Interstitials Affect SEO
Allowing intrusive interstitials to go unnoticed may harm your website’s organic search rankings. They promote a poor visitor experience. When visitors load a page, they expect to see the page’s main content. Intrusive interstitials receive their namesake from their intrusive nature. They intrude upon visitors’ activities by concealing most or all of the page’s main content.
With their intrusive nature, search engines may lower the rankings of websites that feature intrusive interstitials. They are part of Google’s Page Experience update. In 2021, Google rolled out a set of new ranking signals that focus on visitor experience. Known as the Page Experience update, it included intrusive interstitials.
The new ranking signals introduced in Google’s Page Experience update include:
- Core Web Vitals
- Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS)
- Mobile-friendly design
- No Intrusive interstitials
Whilst the Page Experience update initially only affected desktop searches, it now affects both desktop and mobile searches. For high Google rankings, you should avoid using intrusive interstitials. Google will look for these large and disruptive overlays when it spiders your website. If it discovers any intrusive interstitials, it may rank your website lower for desktop and mobile searches.
As part of the Page Experience update, intrusive interstitials directly affect Google rankings, but they can indirectly affect how and where your website ranks on Google as well. Intrusive interstitials will discourage visitors from staying. Rather than closing the large overlays, visitors may leave your website in search of a more user-friendly site.
Shorter visit durations will lead to less engagement and potentially fewer backlinks. Some visitors may manage their own websites. If they leave your website immediately after loading it, chances are they won’t link to it. By creating a positive experience without intrusive interstitials, visitors will stay longer. Your website may then attract backlinks from visitors who manage their own sites.