2 Upcoming Changes in Google Mobile Search

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Google is rolling out two new mobile friendly updates to make content easier to find for users. Find out how you may be affected:

1.     Removal of mobile label

The mobile-friendly label came to our screens two years ago. Google wanted to easily specify which sites were readable on mobiles to users, and did so by adding a label underneath the URL on SERPS. This label indicated that the site uses text which can be read without zooming, sizes content to the screen and more mobile friendly indicators.

As of now, Google has found that 85% of all pages now meet these criteria and to unclutter search results, they will remove the label. However, this does not mean you can relax a site’s responsivity, as the mobile ranking signals will still occur. (Just in case you missed it, in April 2015 Google launched a significant mobile friendly update).

If you’re unsure how mobile friendly your site is, check the mobile usability report in Search Console and the mobile friendly test to evaluate it.

2.     Annoying pop-ups are penalised

Despite the update, websites are still finding ways to inundate us with information we aren’t looking for. If you’ve ever clicked on a SERP, only to be inundated with pop ups (technically referred to as an interstitial) that takes up the entire screen and found no way of clicking out of it, then you’ll appreciate this update.


After 10th January 2017, Google will lower the rankings of sites with interstitials that create a poorer experience for the user. This includes:

  • Interstitials that include main content which pop up when the user first visits the page or while they are scrolling through
  • Interstitials that have to be dismissed in order to access the main content
  • A page with an above the fold portion looking like an interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.

There are cases of pop ups that won’t be affected, such as a pop up to check age or cookie usage, or those that leave a reasonable amount of screen space and can be easily exited.

There’s no doubt that these are just a couple of the many updates to roll out over the upcoming year due to the evident rise in mobile. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, get in touch and we can help you with responsive web design and mobile SEO in Bournemouth. Call us on 01202 798 820 or email hello@upperdog.co.uk.