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I am wondering if this is really true?
Does anyone have any experience with ExPop?
Our popup uses a hidden div, only pops up when users move their cursor to the top edge of the page with the thought they they are moving towards the browser navigation. While this is not a fool-proof method of invoking the popup, it is not as intrusive as other techniques such as onbeforeunload. If the user requests to leave, they are left alone after that point.
Does this violate Google's policy? If so, how would the technique even be detected by a spider?
We have been told that Google does not object to either technique (hidden div or onbeforeunload) when not used on a landing page. However we are wanting this for our landing page.
In my opinion, if it is a policy violation, I would probably not take the risk, even if it is undetectable.
Don't use pop-up windows on your site.
We do not approve destination URLs that generate pop-ups when users enter or leave your landing page.
We consider a pop-up to be any window, regardless of content, that opens in addition to the original window.
This includes pop-unders, timed or intermittent pop-ups, mock system warnings, and pages that automatically initiate a download.
A tooltip-like "rollover" hidden div is clearly not a window.open that opens a browser. Google says nothing about these.
put yourself in the consumer's shoes... is whatever you want to do on exit, really a different experience than an exit popup window?
they took an action to leave... if the math doesn't work well, i suggest that landing page optimization (and other testing of enhancements to your site) might be a better route for you than trying to interrupt their exit. not just for G's rules, but for overall business reasons.
The more obtrusive popups compel behavior. Our implementation does not. After seeing our popup, the user can still use the back button, close the browser, navigate to another URL in the address bar.
Our thinking is as follows: we have a special purpose web site that is of no value to anyone other than those who need our service, which is not everyone. We pay to get visitors to our web site. If they came to the site with this need, then we would like both a "second chance" and also give them the opportunity to check some boxes as to why they are leaving. This will help us to better meet their needs and reduce the number of visitors in the future who do not come to our site with this need.
In other words, it helps us to do better in reducing the number of "misfires" which helps everyone in the long run.
We have been evolving our web site for over 8 years now, and it is "optimized and focused and clear" as we have been able to make it -- SO FAR. But we agree that we can do better, and this will help us to do so. I am only making this point to counter the potentially valid argument that our site is badly optimized. I can assure you that every word on the site gets reviewed and is there for a purpose.
We agree that continual effort to "optimize better" is a important goal and we pursue it vigorously on an ongoing basis, but improvements in SERP placement will only have minor impact at this time, because already we are consistently in the top 3 in the organic and frequently #1.
In any case, we feel that if the user is on our landing page in a "complete miss" then there is no harm in presenting a popup that does not compel behavior but only requests their input, which they can chose to ignore. But if they have come to our site and could use our service, then they deserve the "second chance" to see that, and we deserve the ability to make our site better by providing the "survey" aspect.
Having said all of the above, we do not take lightly adding this function, and thus I am seeking through various channels viewpoints of experts. So I am not trying to be argumentative, but to make the best case possible. If this case still gets shot down, then so be it.
Again, I think the best way to look at this is on a spectrum with many points. For example, a page with pure content and no links or interactive opportunity at all would be the "innocent" end of the spectrum. A page with window.open popups and pop-unders and you can't get out of it and it goes on indefinitely -- that would be the other "guilty" extreme. A non-interactive page with tooltips such as alt or title tags would be closer to the innocent end. And our proposal with tooltip-like popups that do not impede the user but give them opportunity to enter data would be just a bit further.
My position is that our approach is still "innocent" and should not violate G's rules.
So putting optional checkboxes in that tooltip makes it a poor user experience?
I am wondering if you are just taking a "hard line position" without thinking about the actual dynamics.
What changes in the user experience with a "tooltip with optional entry" as compared to a normal tooltip?
My point is the Google does not take a generic position on the use of such techniques, but specifically as applied to the user experience with landing pages.
And my inquiry into the "optional toolip with input" technique is exploring the specifics of the user experience.
You're not going to get a specific answer for the exact scenario under which you can do what you want to do. So it's up to you if it's worth the risk.