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Google to punish pop-up sites

Search giant Google has announced plans to penalise websites featuring intrusive pop-up adverts. It is in the process of updating its algorithms to ensure pages including pop-ups are sent down the rankings. The changes are set to come into force on the 10th January. Some experts have suggested that the company wants users to stop using pop-up blockers so ads that it has placed on sites can be seen. The company makes a great deal of money by placing ads on the desktop and mobile-based web. Read on for more information about pop-ups and data recovery.

Boosting the user experience?

Google says its decision was designed to improve the user experience, saying that pop-ups can be particularly frustrating for mobile users. The company said it wishes to discourage pop-ups that cover part of the main content or a page, intermediary webpages that are seen before the main content is visible and ads that force users to scroll down to see material. It won’t be taking action against pop-ups that tell users that cookies are in use or those that require log-in details so visitors can get past paywalls. Age checks and smaller banner ads won’t be affected.

Ways rankings are defined

Pop-up ads have become increasingly unpopular amongst web users over the years. However, there are many signals that are used to define rankings. This means if a page is seen as particularly helpful but features pop-ups, it’s likely to face less harsh penalties than one that doesn’t. If two pages share equally useful content, the site without the pop-ups would fare better than the one with them. In 2015, Google started to favour websites that were deemed to be mobile-friendly, and in 2014 began to boost rankings for sites that featured encryption. Although not all leading websites are encrypted or offer mobile versions, search ranking remains incredibly important for developers. Websites that still have content deemed “not easily accessible” can expect to slide down the rankings from January.

New instant messaging app launched

Earlier this year, Google announced plans to release Allo, a new instant messaging app. The app is yet to be released but is set to be available for Android and iOS. The service is to be based on phone numbers and will come with a “Smart reply” function, which will suggest replies based on the last message received. It will also analyse images in order to suggest response. The feature has been compared to the smart reply function found in the company’s Inbox app, and will study user behaviour over time in order to become more and more efficient. Allo was also offer an incognito mode. This option mode will include private notifications, end-to-end encryption and expiring chats. The encryption will use the Open Whisper Systems’ Signal Protocol, which is already used by the Signal app. The Whisper Shout function will enable users to increase and decrease message size to represent volume, with the app supporting Google Assistant.

Worries about surveillance

Some security experts have criticised the app for having the end-to-end encryption switched off by default. Concerns about government surveillance have been raised. Thai Duoung of Google’s product security team said he would push for the encryption to be switched on constantly before retracting his statement.

Options for data recovery when using Google services

A large number of Google app users have lost essential files over the years. Google offers a number of tips for those needing help with data recovery whilst using its software. For instance, those who have deleted something whilst using Google Drive and need it back can head to drive.google.com/drive/trash, look for the file and click the ‘restore’ button to recover their data. Those who cannot find something but don’t think they have deleted it can go to drive.google.com and click My Drive. They can then click the info icon on the top right and scroll down to look for the file or date they need to recover. If this is not effective, they can try an advanced search for data recovery purposes by clicking the search options icon and using the advanced search options. Google has placed a great deal of information online for those seeking advice about data recovery whilst using its various services.

SOURCES:

http://www.theverge.com/2016/8/23/12610890/google-search-punish-pop-ups-interstitial-ads
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Allo
https://support.google.com/drive/answer/1716222?hl=en

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