January 10, 2017, Google began rolling out the Google Pop Up Penalty. This decreases the ranking in mobile search of pages which have annoying pop ups which cover the content of a webpage people expected to see when clicking through to a page. One of these annoying pop ups was live chat boxes, commonly used by personal injury, criminal defense and bankruptcy lawyers.

They would have, but…

In late 2016, many of the providers of these incredibly annoying live chat pop ups changed their ways. Ngage is one of the most popular. Previously, when you landed on a page using the Ngage live chat pop up, users were greeted with a big box they had to “x” out of in order to see a page. Many users would back out of a page when seeing these types of pop ups.

Live chat is a neat feature to have, but there are better ways. In November or December of 2016, I began noticing that attorneys using the Ngage live chat pop up got a new look and feel which actually looks pretty good.

Here’s a screenshot of someone using a live chat box by Ngage:

The key here is the pop up does not cover the content of a webpage.

This is good because people really should be able to read what they came to a site for.

If you have ever studied user engagement or dug into Analytics, you already know that most people only spend so much time on a page before contacting a business anyways.

With the pop up resting at the top of a page and behaving itself, visitors can read what they need to and make contact.

New problems

One problem with some of the new pop up boxes exists that some attorneys use. Sometimes the new live chat function sits right at the top of the screen. This usually covers up the site’s telephone number.

In many cases, lawyers, doctors and business owners would MUCH rather someone phones in than enters the live chat with a complete stranger making minimum wage somewhere.


Many live chat boxes are now Google pop up penalty safe, but now could cover up vital things at the top of a webpage, such as the business logo, address or phone number. If you use a live chat feature and plan on keeping it, it may look great out of the box, or you may need to do some additional header modifications to your website.


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