Google Search Ranking and Popup Banners

Google’s John Mueller answers a question in a Google SEO office-hours video about whether banner popups can affect rankings. John answered the question and then shared the technical background of why banners can have a negative impact as well as other issues related to core web vitals.

The answer to the question involves more than just banners. The answer is more technical due to ranking factors related to core web vitals which can also be affected by things like popup banners, which in turn can have an impact on rankings.

core web vitals

In his answer John Mueller makes reference to two factors related to the core Webb Wittels metrics.

So it’s important to quickly define what those factors are so that his answer makes sense.

  • Cumulative Layout Shift
  • Biggest Contentful Paint

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

Cumulative layout shift is a core web vitals metric that measures how much a web page changes when it is loaded. The factors that affect this metric are images and fonts. An image that takes a long time to load can cause words to move around on the page.

Fonts that take a long time to load can also cause page content to move around as to the font style.

Biggest Contentful Paint

Largest Contentful Paint (also known as LCP) is a metric that measures how long it takes a website to load the largest block of content (either image or text content) from the moment the site starts up. Is.

page layout algorithm

Finally, in 2012 Google introduced an algorithm called page layout algorithmalso known as top heavy algorithm,

This user experience ranking factor was intended to down-rank web pages with obstructive popups.

Can Popup Banners Affect Ranking?

The person asking the question wanted to know whether popups could still have an impact on rankings ten years after the introduction of the page layout algorithm.

asked Questions:

“Can my ranking be affected by banners that appear on my Page?”

John Mueller replied:

“And yes, they can be too.

Many things are coming out about the banner.

On the one hand we have within the Pages experience report, we have that aspect of intrusive interstitial ads.

And if this banner turns out to be an intrusive interstitial, it could negatively affect the site there.

The other is that often with banners, you have side effects on the cumulative layout shift, such as how the page renders when loaded.

Or… in regards to… I forgot what the metric is when we show a page… I think LCP, also on behalf of core web vitals with respect to that page.

So those are the different elements that can come into play here.

That doesn’t mean it should be so.

But depending on the type of banner you’re popping up, it can happen.”

Multiple ranking factors affected by popup banners

The situation today is more complex than the intrusive interstitials that have negative ranking effects.

A less intrusive popup banner can still have a negative ranking effect because those banners can have an impact on CLS and LCP, the core web vitals ranking factors.


Can Popup Banners Affect Ranking?

View at 39:31 min mark

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