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May 20, 2011


Insight: Does POP Up/Under affects goOgle ranking and hence traffic?

No doubt Pop ups or Pop unders are annoying to users.. But does they have a negative effect on your website’s goOgle search ranking and hence traffic??

There is no clear answer to this but here I present a little theory of my own based on some facts explained below:

  1. GoOgle hates Popups.
    Evident from:

    • GoOgle hates Pop-ups.. So much that even goOgle toolbar have a Pop-up blocker and goOgle Chrome have a built in pop up blocker.
    • GoOgle always favors a clean website with no pop-ups against a similar one with pop-ups.
    • GoOgle even disapprove Adwords landing pages with pop-ups.

    Or if even that’s not enough.. here’s goOgle saying it itself..  go to this page
    Read in the first line: “We find them annoying.”
    GoOgle have made it clear over the years that it loves quality content. And I don’t think it classifies a website forcing pop up ads as a goOd quality website.

  2. SEO Point of view.
    Landing page Loading time is an important SEO factor. So large ads or Pop-Up/Pop-Under which may slow down the loading speed can be a factor to consider.
    Although the intensity of impact is unclear. And there are still more unanswered questions like even if they consider a POP Up as a NO-NO! Do they treat all POP Ups the same way? Does their algorithms differ between forced popups and popus created by user interaction like clicking on a link?
  3. Now I present my final point with some evidential data.
    Look at the image below.. It shows last 20 days traffic of one of my website:

    Statistical Data to prove Pop up/Under effects goOgle search engine rank negatively

    Statistical Data to prove Pop up/Under effects goOgle search engine rank negatively

    We placed the code for Pop-under ads on 2nd May on terminal pages of the website and on 8th we placed Pop-under ads on the initial pages too.. (Something we regret.) and you can see for yourself what happened then.. The keywords for which our site’s results used to come on first page were not even until 5th page.
    In another case which I read on some blog this guy was having #4 and # 7 for 2 very competetive keywords on google, and the week after he placed the Pop-Up ads  #4 and #7 went to #142 and #200.

So my theory ends here.. BUT, there’s still one more thing I want to show you before we jump to a conclusion.

See this video of  Matt Cutts of Google:

Upon asking “Does goOgle reward or penalize for pop-under, directly or indirectly?”

He says:

“To the best of my knowledge we don’t reward or penalize for having a pop-up or pop-under or any hing like that..users dont’t like it…..”

“To the best of my knowledge – I’m not familiar with every body and every single thing in the search quality but I don’t know of anything where we would say oh this site has a pop up or pop under so don’t rank it as highly. Its a common feature request.. A lot of people want us to do that.. but to the best of my knowledge we’ve never done anything like that ”

A few things to note in this video is:

  • Excessive use of “To the Best of my knowledge”.
    He didn’t denied it completely and used “To the best of my knowledge” 3 times thats a lot of times in less than a minute length of speech..
  • Its a common feature request.
    So they might add it in future.
  • Video is dated back to 5th April 2010 – almost an year old.
    GoOgle have changed its algorithm a lot since then. Recent being the “Panda” update. So there’s always a chance that they may have implemented it by now.

So I’m gonna give this benefit of doubt to the above stated theory and recommend NOT to use any pop-ups/under ads. They may give high CPMs but they hinder your traffic too hence nullifying the extra earning if any.. And even If you don’t have Search Engine Organic traffic then also you should avoid using them as they are really annoying to the users.

If you’re wondering who is this Matt Cutts I’m talking about..

Matt Cutts works for the Search Quality group in Google, specializing in search engine optimization issues.He is well known in the SEO community for enforcing the Google Webmaster Guidelines and cracking down on link spam. Cutts also advises the public on how to get better website visibility in Google as well as webmaster issues in general, and is generally an outspoken and public face of Google.


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About the author

Snehil Khanor wrote 131 articles on this blog.

Snehil Khanor - Entrepreneurial Spirit, Techie, Gadget Freak, Blogger, Dreamer, Internet Visionary, Foodie, Delhiite, Wannabe Artist ,To-be Engineer with a heart of a Poet. 😉

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jan 3 2012

    thanks for this ,I am looking for this type article now i am going to remove them..lets see what happen …

  2. Feb 20 2012

    thanks for the heads up, i was just wondering about this myself.

  3. tanks very good!!1


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