Fall in line with Google: beware of pop-overs on mobiles

Concerned about Google's changes relating to pop-overs? We've got you covered (but you may need to make a change).

If there’s been one marketing tactic that’s taken hold over the last couple of years, it must surely be the ubiquitous pop-over; used everywhere to capture email addresses in return for content, money off or free delivery, their effectiveness has ensured a lasting popularity.

But although they’re popular with marketers, consumers haven’t always welcomed them. When they offer incentives (like the aforementioned coupons) they can seem like a fair deal – an email address for a discount. But when they’re hard or impossible to close, or keep on coming back after being dismissed, they can irritate more than they generate. And that’s just on laptops – on mobiles, they can severely hamper your user experience when done badly.

I should highlight at this point that pop-overs made with dotmailer are mobile responsive, we always make sure the close button is easy to find, and we default to non-eternal views.

Google’s changes

Google have noticed the general concern with pop-overs on mobile devices. Last summer they published details about their planned changes.

To summarize their post: they will start penalizing your site (in the form of lower search engine rankings) if it includes pop-overs that cover the main content.

Our changes

To this end, we’ve updated our pop-over share options. Now, when you share via a pop-over, we’ll default to only showing it on non-mobile devices. This means visitors to your site will still see the pop-over on their laptop or desktop, but not on their mobile or tablet.

You can change this (if you want to show pop-overs on all devices), but our recommendation is that you don’t. Your Google rank is likely important to you – look after it!

If you already have a pop-over, its behavior won’t change. You’ll need to grab the embed code again and re-add it to bring yourself in line with Google’s changes.

But don’t let this put you off pop-overs altogether. Use them sensibly, offer an incentive in return for what you’re asking for, avoid showing them on mobiles, and you should be able to keep their benefits.