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If pop-up are part of your advertising strategy, you may want to reconsider after Google announced plans to penalise websites featuring them. 

In a blog post published earlier this week, Google said it is updating its algorithm to to punish such websites, giving them lower rankings with the search giant. The update is expected to be implemented on 10 January 2017.

There are three types of pop-up ads that Google intends to cut down on; ads that cover the bulk of the main content featured on a webpage, a temporary page that has to be closed before the desire webpage can be viewed, and ads that fill the screen so users are forced to scroll down before they are able to view the content.

Google said: “Pages that show intrusive interstitials [pop-ups that cover the content] provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible.

“This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller.”

This type of move might seem somewhat surprising, given that most of Google’s revenue comes from advertising. But the company said it wants to give people less of a reason to use ad-blocking software.

It is the latest turn in the battle between advertisers and service providers. No consumer likes advertising do they? No one wants to be exposed to constant streams of adverts. That, in recent months especially, has turned people towards ad-blockers. Last year, even mobile operators revealed their intentions to block adverts from Google.

Advertising is essential to company’s like Google and Facebook. They’re fighting back. Earlier this month, Facebook introduced a new technology that allowed it to bypass ad-blocking software to display ads to users. And now, we have this strike from Google.

“Google is one of the largest advertising companies in the world, but it’s in a very different position to Facebook, Snapchat and other global media consumption apps,” said Daniel Knapp, senior director of advertising research at the IHS consultancy.

“Google is still very reliant on the desktop and mobile web to make money, and it’s much more difficult to clean up that experience than the native app environments.

“That’s why it needs to tighten the screws on everyone with this crackdown.”