It’s been almost a week since GDPR went into effect which, if you’ve been checking your email at all, I’m sure you noticed. You’ve probably also encountered some websites announcing their new privacy policies and GDPR compliance via full-blown popups on their homepage.

But does this run afoul of Google’s intrusive interstitial penalty?

According to John Mueller, Google doesn’t make an exception to the rule when it comes to your GDPR policy. In fact, he calls them "sometimes quite annoying."

You can still use popups for GDPR, but you have to make sure:

  • It’s not intrusive

  • Googlebot can access the text under the popup

  • Passes the mobile friendly test

As Mueller explains, you can load your page content normally in HTML and then use Javascript to show the pop-up. Google will still be able to access and crawl the page normally.

Where you’ll run into issues is if you redirect users to an interstitial consent page, or replace the page content with the interstitial. Googlebot won’t be able to access the normal content, so it will index the interstitial instead.

And since Googlebot doesn’t store cookies, it won’t realize it can index the content if/when it recrawls the page.

Essentially, anything that requires the bot to click something to access the page is a bad idea.

Here’s the video with his full answer:

Learn about how WooRank is GDPR compliant, as well as how we ensure your privacy, on our Help Center.