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Interstitial means occupying an intervening space.

In terms of a website, an interstitial is what comes between you and the content you’re trying to view. These are typically pop-up offers or requests made to the visitor of your website.

Ask yourself a question and try to give a honest answer. When was the last time you were glad to see a pop-up on a website you visited? If I have ever been happy to see one, I don’t remember it. Generally speaking interstitials are meant to benefit the owner of the website, not the visitor. I suppose for that reason Google has started to take action.

In the Summer of 2016, Google announced that they will crack down in 2017, on “Intrusive Interstitials” for mobile searches. There are some exceptions for e-commerce, age verification, and other legit reasons for pop-ups, but Google is sending us yet another warning that we need to build websites to benefit our customers, not ourselves.

If that was not a good enough reason, here are a few more:
  1. Our customers who insist on adding pop-ups to their site often see their bounce rates soar.
  2. Not only will Google notice the interstitials on your site, but they will also notice the inevitable pogo sticking from your website back to Google search results. I promise you this will not have a positive effect on your organic rankings.
  3. Unless the interstitial is an integral part of the order or inquiry process for your site, you should expect to see less sales as a result.

No matter how many times I warn some customers, they often insist on implementing their version of what I call a “Sales Prevention Program.” Interstitials is at the top of the sale prevention list. Whenever you are building a website, you should always be thinking of your prospects and customers, and what you can do to help them get their job done. If you do that, your site will be successful and you won’t have to worry about interstitials or any other gimmicks to achieve that goal.  

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