This will be good news for surfers but bad news for marketers employing this tactic – sites that display large popups as soon as a visitor loads a site could trigger the above the fold layout algorithm penalty.
“When we look at the page layout, we look at what we crawl with Googlebot,” says John Mueller in a Google Webmaster Central office hours, “and since Googlebot doesn’t use any cookies, we will probably see that ad every time we visit. So that’s something we would take into account there.”
“But showing them a big banner from the beginning is something we’ll probably index or we’ll use for the page layout algorithm.”
So bottom line, pop-ups won’t trigger the page layout algo penalty IF you set a cookie that will mean the pop-up is displayed only on subsequent visits.
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