Why? Because that is the day Google will officially be down-ranking sites with pop-ups that interrupt the user when landing on a website. So, if your site has pop-ups and your webmaster has not brought the latest search algorithm changes to your attention, or offered an alternative to your pop-ups, you might want to give them a call.
Or it might be time to look for a new webmaster.
Far too often, web designers focus solely on what their client can see: the visual aesthetic of a site. But that’s not the way to go. When it comes to websites, there is one strategy — one golden rule that we believe in so strongly that it is mandatory for all of the sites we create at OpenSail. A rule that is hard for clients to enforce because they can’t see (or don't know about) all of the little details that affect how a site will perform and rank.
What is this golden rule, you ask?
“Do what Google tells you to do.”
Yep, it's that simple. “Do what Google tell you to do” is the starting point of any good strategy and the foundation of all our sites. Here’s why:
Google is the search engine giant, the puppet master of websites if you will. No matter which way you slice it, Google’s complex algorithm ultimately decides which sites will be served in a search, and in which order. And when everyone's goal is to be organically served at the top of the first page of Google, you would think every webmaster would be listening to Google’s recommendations.
In Google Search, our goal is to help users quickly find the best answers to their questions, regardless of the device they’re using.
— Doantam Phan, Production Manager
Google is also very transparent in what criteria will help a site meet these expectations and openly shows favour to websites that are on board with delivering that ideal user experience.
Their latest crusade is being launched against obtrusive pop-ups coming between the user and the desired content they are searching for. For more details on the new algorithm, you can check out Google's blog for webmasters.
However, as with any complex algorithm, there will be some exceptions to the rule. In this case, the exception will be when the quality of the content outperforms the demerits of a pop-up.
“Remember, this new signal is just one of hundreds of signals that are used in ranking. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.”
— Doantam Phan, Production Manager
A strong analysis of data will be the determining factor in pop-ups being used in future strategic planning.
The good news is, Google has given businesses and webmasters plenty of notice and a clear outline of their expectations.
Businesses, webmasters, and digital agencies need to review their pop-ups and the ranking of their content in order to come up with the right strategy for 2017. One that aligns with Google's ever-evolving ethos of the ideal user experience.
That’s where we come in.
After all, that is why we got into this business in the first place: to give businesses the highest standard of web presence and to extend customers a great experience with those businesses online. Since we know Google has that same goal in mind and ultimately determines which sites will be served in search, we make it a priority to stay informed and implement their latest updates. Change is something we embrace at OpenSail!
If you have questions or need help using your website analytics to audit your website, contact us, we can help you out!