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To pop up or not

It’s official. I absolutely despise pop ups.

You know what I mean. Those annoying little things that jump up on websites the minute you land and cajole you to sign up, read or watch an ad or more. Sometimes you inadvertedly click to find youself down a rabbit hole. This is especially annoying on mobile.

Do any of these sound familiar?


  • Pop-up sign-ups and ads
  • Auto-playing video ads with sound
  • Prestitial ads (appear before content is loaded) with countdown
  • Large sticky ads (ads that stick to the edge of a page)


  • Pop-up sign-ups and ads
  • Prestitial ads
  • Ad density higher than 30 percent
  • Flashing animated ads
  • Auto-playing video ads with sound
  • Prestitial ads with countdown
  • Full-screen scrollover ads
  • Large sticky ads

Then, when you try to get the pop up off your screen, you are tormened with aggressive messages telling you that you are inadequate, mad, bad or dangerous for not engaging, signing up or whatever you’re supposed to do next.

I am all in favour of email marketing, I do it myself, but pop ups are out of control.

Pop ups are so obnoxious, intrusive and mind-numingly uninspiring that I have no sympathy for brands that lament Google’s new ad blocking software which marks the turning point in the war against pop ups.

You can update to the latest version now using the browser’s built-in silent updater or download it directly from

There are a variety of reasons for this massive switch in Google’s mindset.

First, we are moving more and more to a mobile-first user experience and Google wants us to enjoy every moment. More screentime equals more Google dollars.

Secondly, reports show that consumers do not like in-your-face ads. When providing search engine results, Google’s mission is to give users a list of websites that provide great information and a great experience. If visitors “bounce” from or click off sites that irritate them, that will now negatively impact how that site ranks on Google’s search engine result pages (SERPs).

Google releases Chrome 64 on Thursday. This upgrade deals with those annoying videos that manage to blast out of your screen making you jolt and those around you raise eyebrows. They have also created a new tool called the Google Ad Experience Report to give website owners a view on how the Better Ads Standards apply to their web pages.

Clearly though, the best approach is to give your visitors a ‘clean’ content experience and win hearts and minds the old-fashioned way, by producing compelling, useful content that readers can either opt into or not.

Because, attention should be earned. And as Terry Wogan used to say, they either like you or they don’t.



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