brinked - 5:25 am on Nov 5, 2012 (gmt 0)
Like Tedster said, there is not enough evidence right now to support the claim that popups have a role in ranking.
As someone with great experience in monetizing websites, lose the popups/unders. There are so many better ways to make money from your visitors than popups/unders. Take the time to get creative.
Most webmasters want to just slap on a bunch of ad code and be done with it. Different ads have different results and different ad networks will pay differently. Test different ones. Set up a daisy chain to show the top performing networks in order of highest paying first.
You can even try negotiationg with networks for a better rate. Reach out directly to media buyers to try to cut out the middle man and make more profit. Make use of your email list. Try making changes to your site that will increase the actions per visitor. More actions = more impressions = more money.
Join a community that focuses on this type of thing. Get feedback, see what ads your competition are using. Get creative. If you just settled on some network then you're probably missing out on a lot of money that another network is willing to give you per impression.
I used popunders on a website once and I felt so dirty. The pay was not worth it, I ended up removing them a week later.