Google Introduces Penalty For Interstitial Ads

Google has introduced a new penalty to dissuade publishers from using intrusive interstitial advertising. The penalty was announced around the middle of 2016, but has only been active since 10th January 2017. It affects pages that are reached directly from a Google mobile search page, but will not have any impact on any pages reached further down the click path on a website. The introduction was announced by Google's John Mueller and Gary Illyes, who explained that penalties would be applied to pages where interstitials either covered the main content, had to be dismissed before a page could be used, or appeared to be within the above-the-fold portion of the page but were inlined underneath the fold. However, penalties will not apply to interstitials that were required for legal reasons, such as age confirmation or as an entry point for log in details.