Google On GDPR Pop Ups Notices With Search & SEO

Today, implied consent or the ones given just by visiting a site is no longer enough. This same directive goes for your pop ups too. There is now the need to make sure that your pop ups comply with the new General Data Protection Regulation. The result is that there have been tons of emails on GDPR flooded to user’s address over the past few weeks. Now, many fear that the GDPR pop ups will affect search and SEO. However, Google has said that it doesn’t necessarily have to. Websites do not need to use intrusive interstitials to let your visitor know of GDPR changes on your website.

Well, the short account is that Google has no exception for the interstitial penalty for GDPR requirements. This means that you can use them provided they are not intrusive. What it means by this is that it is okay if you have the pop up on top of the content itself. For instance, if you load with an HTML and you are using  JavaScript to show the pop up on it, then that is good. This way, the user can still see the main content behind the pop up.

However, if the user has to click another button to actually get to the content itself, Google will frown upon it. This is the case when you replace the entire content with an interstitial or redirect to an interstitial making Googlebot click a button to access the content. Of course, this way, the content will not pass the mobile-friendly testing tool. Mobile is emphasized since it is most affected by intrusive pop ups.  While checking with the mobile friendly tool, it should show the content alongside the interstitial. In the event that the content does not appear even after double checking in the HTML, then, it can’t work as far as Google is concerned.  Also, Google doesn’t like when a website uses a layout where the above-the-fold part of the page is similar to a standalone interstitial while the main content is beneath the fold.

What is the penalty for those websites who might have breached this policy? Simple, it will significantly affect their search ranking of their site. What this means is that a strict adherence to the Google policy on GDPR is also part of search engine optimization since failing on it will significantly affect your site’s visibility. Therefore, make sure your content is easily accessible to a user right from search results especially on mobile and you would have nothing to worry about.

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