Websites can start kissing their pop-up ads goodbye, as Google has just announced that it will begin cracking down on these “intrusive interstitials” come January 10, 2017.
The announcement aims to reinforce the tech giant’s commitment to providing mobile users the best possible browsing and search experience, something that is simply impossible with the off-putting, badgering nature of some online advertisements.
Professionals from Bungemoe describe the “intrusive interstitials” Google is targeting as those advertisements that cover the main content at any time during the user’s browsing of a particular page. They note, however, that Google has outlined a few exceptions, such as interstitials that appear to be in response to the website’s legal obligation (cookie usage, age verification), login dialogs, and non-intrusive, easy-to-dismiss banners.
The use of “intrusive interstitials” has always been the most notorious advertising tactic on the internet, so much so that its creator had to apologize for what he had done. Pop-up ads have ruined countless hours of browsing, debilitated countless sites, and tricked countless users out of their money. One might wonder why Google has taken so long before making a move, and the answer lies in one of the core principles that made the search company so invaluable to begin with: internet freedom.
Google has always championed its capacity to allow every single one of its users to mold web-based experiences to their own accord. Unfortunately, pop-up ads came as what some users (marketers) wanted. Despite all the purported enemies of online freedom, the people who enjoyed it were the ones that ultimately made the strongest case for regulations.
Google will always tout its commitment to making the internet a place for every single user to make as their own, but this does not mean the company cannot throw its weight around and introduce regulations that will benefit more users in the long run.