Google has recently announced an update to its algorithm that hopes to punish ad-heavy publishers on the internet. The algorithm change aims to find websites that have too many ads above the fold. According to this post on Google’s blog:
We’ve heard complaints from users that if they click on a result and it’s difficult to find the actual content, they aren’t happy with the experience. Rather than scrolling down the page past a slew of ads, users want to see content right away.
So sites that don’t have much content “above-the-fold” can be affected by this change. If you click on a website and the part of the website you see first either doesn’t have a lot of visible content above-the-fold or dedicates a large fraction of the site’s initial screen real estate to ads, that’s not a very good user experience.
Such sites may not rank as highly going forward.
Wondering what the ‘fold’ is on a website? Well that’s simple. The ‘fold’ is the imaginary line located at the bottom-most point of the webpage before scrolling down. Everything above the fold is what is seen on the webpage before scrolling down. Let’s use Drift’s website to show you:
So what does this mean for your company’s website? Many publishers are worried about how this could affect their online businesses. But Google is simply trying to weed-out website publishers that are using the Internet for the wrong reasons. Matt Cutts, head of Google’s web spam team, assures business owners they have nothing to worry about; Google understands that publishers need to monetize the content they publish online. He goes on to say that those who focus more on deceiving users or trying to make a quick buck will feel the full wrath of the update. The most noticeable affect will be the fluctuations in organic search engine rankings this week when the algorithm update rolls out.
Our advice: keep focused on quality content and the user experience. These are two important factors in considering organic search rankings. Make sure the content on your website is relevant, comprehensive and correct and you won’t have any problems.