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I have a german website with Adsense integrated. To meet Google's compliance requirements, I ask users to accept cookies for personal advertising.

To achieve this, I created an overlay which stays in front of the pages content (which is blurred by the way). This is a pure JavaScript modal (no IFrame), just a non-dismissable Bootstrap 4 modal. If the user accepts the cookie stuff, the overlay closes and content is revealed (without blur of course).

Cookie consent notice with blurred background

From a legal perspective, an obtrusive overlay is not necessary (a small version overlaying just some footer content of the page would be also possible). But we definitely need a cookie notice. We want to do this, because our old solution (small footer overlapping, as f.e. https://www.accenture.com/us-en) was not often clicked, as it was not obtrusive enough. Therefore we couldn't display adsense ads to our users...

However, I need to balance the Adsense ads vs. SEO (Google rankings). If we use the obtrusive version but lose in ranking significantly, we will just stay with the old (unobtrusive) version. Thats the main reason I asked here fore help.

Does this negatively affect SEO (because of the overlay, which is in front of the whole content)?

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    Is your overlay an iframe, or is it a JavaScript popup? Either way, do you also have the option of doing a less obtrusive version of this (like sticky footer on the bottom of the page that goes away once the user clicks a button, but otherwise just hangs around and lets the user scroll anyway, like here: accenture.com/us-en), or does that only fly in North America and not in post-GDPR Europe? – Henry Visotski Feb 27 at 16:50
  • It is just an JavaScript popup, no IFrame (Bootstrap 4 modal). From a legal perspective, we do not need such an obtrusive way of doing it for European users. Background story: We want to display adsense ads to our users. Previously we had a small version in overlapping just 5 percent of the footer of the page (as in your example of accenture.com). However, it was so unobtrusive, that no one every clicked on it... Therefore we decided to go with an approach like engadget.com. But then SEO comes into mind and we are not sure if it is worth it if we lose some visibility in Google... – mfuesslin Feb 28 at 8:27
  • I edited my question with more informations. – mfuesslin Feb 28 at 8:36
  • Well, I'd monitor your bounce rates and your rankings for key phrases. You will probably see a higher bounce rate, as users sometimes fear clicking pop up buttons. You may also see Google indexing the pop up as if it were the content, which is why if you can replace the JS modal (which Google parses) with an iframe one (which it doesn't), there's a better chance of staying unaffected. So basically, your SEO could be affected, so monitor your site closely using Ahrefs or Moz and Analytics so if anything goes wrong, you can change the popup and resubmit sitemap. – Henry Visotski Feb 28 at 15:32
  • Thank you for your suggestion. Will closely monitor then - so far nothing bad happened (but one does not know when Google do change the ranking of our page, right?)... – mfuesslin Mar 7 at 9:44
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The first and biggiest problem coming to my mind in that case is not the impact it would have on SEO but mostly UX. This is often a problem to the user experience and I wouldn't recommend it at all since it's kind of pushing users into accepting cookies. My bet is on a huge bounce rate increase.

When it comes to SEO, that could hurt too. In 2017 Google warned about cracking down on intrusive interstitials on mobile devices. See the link here.

  • Yes, indeed. However, we monitored a slightly higher bounce rate (increased by 5 percent) which is no match for our increasing ad impressions (450 percent). Therefore we will try if it will work the long tail and if not change it back to a less obtrusive interstitial. – mfuesslin Mar 7 at 9:47

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