As inbound marketers we create digital experiences for our web design clients – and, at the same time, we want to generate leads for their sales teams. To help generate these leads, many marketers have put pop-up forms on their website pages. But the misuse of popups has led to misconceptions about whether marketers really should use them.
In August 2016, Google announced they would penalize websites for using "intrusive popups." The update was officially implemented in January 2017. But there are many ways to use popups without hurting search rank.
Google doesn’t penalize all pop-ups -- just the ones that get in the way of a user’s ability to easily access the content on the page when they search on mobile.
Pop-ups that a mobile user has to dismiss before being able to access the main content of the page will be penalized by Google. On the other hand, pop-ups, banners, and slide-ins that don’t disrupt the mobile user experience are just fine.
If you make sure your popup's offer something valuable and relevant to users visiting a particular site page, and fit them into the context of what your users are doing already, they can become a valuable part of your inbound strategy.