Posted by: Ben Austin
Posted on: October 23, 2012 4:23 pm
For a lot of search engines giving the best user experience is one of the ranking factors, that is being sought after by SEO companies, where such is of course broken down into several aspects. One of those aspect is the websites’ page layout, it is believed by search engines especially Google that the page layout must show the content of a website rather than giving every site visitor the runaround. This is why Google has released an update to its algorithm dubbed as the page layout algorithm.
The Reason For the Update
One of the major reasons why Google has incorporated the page layout algorithm in their search engine ranking factors is the fact that the company has received several complaints about websites ranked in their search engine results page which does not outright display the content users want. For example, a user searched for a particular website using a specific keyword via the search engine and after being given the search result, clicks one of the link to a particular website. However, such particular website has a page layout that was structured in such a way that the actual content is already being swarmed by different advertisements which of course does not give a good user experience.
Therefore, in order to make sure that Google search engine results page would not foster such practice in a websites’ page layout, they have de-ranked websites’ that utilises a page layout that does not show their content above the fold and have utilised ads instead.
Are Ads Above the Fold Bad?
According to Google, they understand that placing advertisements about the fold are the ones that converts best, this is why the page layout algorithm only seeks to penalise websites that uses too much advertisements above the fold that it already is covering up the content of the web page making it a lot more difficult for a site visitor or user to locate the information or content that he or she needs.
Total Effect and Solution
According to Google the total global scale of websites that would be affected is around one percent, which means that one in one hundred websites will be affected. Among the different algorithm changes by Google this might be the easiest search engine optimisation problem to solve, if you see your content being pushed down below the fold and only ads are seen above the fold of your website then it is time for you to redo your websites’ page layout, and make sure that your content is highlighted by pushing it upwards above the fold which could be done by removing or resizing your advertisements.