Google Updates Its Page Layout algorithm to To Go After Sites “Top Heavy” With Ads
The Page Layout Algorithm Update (Ads on top of the Fold) could be a change to Google’s ranking algorithm that was unrolled worldwide on June 19, 2012.
This algorithm change solely affects 1% of all worldwide search requests and is meant to additional enhance the standard of the search results.
Google declared a replacement algorithm update on January 19 that it’ll begin applying to search results. Simply known as, the “page layout algorithm,” it’s having only alittle impact up to now (less than 1% of searches, per Google). Still, the new update is inflicting a touch of buzz and confusion.
A recent update to the Google page layout algorithm can see sites with excessive ads on top of the fold penalized.
The latest Google algorithm change can effect those sites with an abnormally high range of ads on top of the fold. If relevant content isn’t straightaway visible as a results of being buried to a lower place ads, this can be currently set to influence the site’s overall ranking in Google.
The update is aimed toward rising user expertise, serving to to produce quality sites with pole positions within the search engine rankings. Meanwhile, it’ll alter the rankings of websites that need users to scroll through ads in a shot realize the obscured relevant content.
The Google page layout formula update is set to have an effect on sites immediately, and can impact around one per cent of worldwide searches. If changes area unit created to enhance the standard of a page, it may take many weeks for Google to re-crawl the site and view its improvements.
The page layout algorithm looks at websites and examines their ad content. Sites that have several ads above the fold receive a penalization in Google’s search results. The philosophy behind the update is that pages with high significant ads obscure the content of a webpage — negatively impacting user expertise.
In a few ways in which, the page layout algorithm is similar to the Panda update. Like Panda, the page layout algorithm is additional sort of a ranking issue, in this once you’re fined by the page layout algorithm, you’ll got to wait till Google decides to run the algorithm once more to possess your web site reconsidered the penalty won’t disappear right away.
Because the penalty applies to the complete web site, not simply the actual ad-heavy page, several webmasters are nervous. However, there are reasons why this new update is just affecting less than 1% of search results. For starters, pop-ups, pop-unders and overlay ads don’t seem to be counted by the page layout algorithm. additionally, Google acknowledges that the top of the page is efficacious area for advertisers and is important for the revenue of the many sites. you’ll still place ads on top of the fold while not being penalized. Google is only looking to punish websites who take their ad placement to excessive levels.
As such, there’s a good chance this update won’t have an effect on you. simply make sure to layout ads on your web pages in a very responsible manner that keeps the user expertise in mind.
What will Google’s “Page Layout” Algorithm Update Mean for My Site?
Google’s most up-to-date search Algorithm update – dubbed the “page layout Algorithm change – focuses to punish websites whose content is pushed below-the-fold by multiple advertisements. whereas the forecasted range of searches affected is a smaller amount than 1%, it’s never a bad idea to use an Algorithm update as a chance to require a step back and examine your site’s search engine friendliness and usability. it’s not an occurrence to panic, however. likelihood is that your web site complies with the updated page layout commonplace. If it doesn’t, it’d be laborious on behalf of me to believe that this transformation is something however a blessing in disguise.
Google refreshes Page Layout algorithm: is your web site at risk?
In order to understand if your web site has already been affected, check whether or not there is been a major, sharp call in search traffic on Feb 6, 2014 or immediately after that.
If not, your web site ought to be safe. Still, it’s sensible to understand what ad placement behavior to avoid (especially if you’ve got Associate in Nursing affiliate/AdSense site) so as to not get caught during this filter.
First off, the Page Layout update goes by variety of names:
Page layout algorithm (Google’s official name)
Above-the-fold update (sometimes utilized by the community)
Top-heavy update (popularized by Danny Sullivan)
In a shell, it affects websites with several ads and not abundant content on top of the fold.
At the same time, if your web site doesn’t go over the highest with ad banners, and doesn’t create users scroll down to find the particular content, you should be fine. From Google’s original blog post
“We perceive that putting ads above-the-fold is sort of common for several websites; these ads usually perform well and facilitate publishers monetize on-line content.
This algorithmic amendment doesn’t have an effect on sites who place ads above-the-fold to a normal degree, however affects sites that go much additional to load the highest of the page with ads to an excessive degree.
This new algorithmic improvement tends to impact sites wherever there’s s only alittle quantity of visible content above-the-fold or relevant content is persistently pushed down by giant blocks of ads.”
How to avoid the ‘top-heavy’ penalty
One of the largest misconceptions concerning this penalty is that it’s only about the ads.
When the top-heavy update 1st came out, some affected sites in the past reportable losing their SERP positions in spite of getting no ads on top of the fold whatever.
Then why they got downgraded?
Some people argued Google should have mistaken their pictures for ads. Others believed that Google does not extremely look at whether or not you’ve got ads, however if you’ve got substantial content on top of the fold.
As a Webmaster World member explains, protective a particular content-to-ad ratio is key:
Google employees (that do not work in search or have any within knowledge about the above the fold algorithm), they assert that it’s the content to ad ratio that matters.”
So, here is what you’ll do to form you your page has enough straightaway visible content which you do not do ads on the site.
- Use Google’s Browser Size tool
The tool highlights the world of your page that’s straightaway visible to visitors after they gain your web site. It also tells you which percentage of visitors can see which area, supported however widespread screens of various sizes are.
- Follow Google’s recommendations on ad placement
Google has place along some recommendations for a way AdSense sites should allocate space for ads. However, even though you’ve got the other reasonably ads on a web site, you’ll merely use these tips as best practices, since they are available from the proverbial horse’s mouse straight.
All in all, it is recommended to have:
Up to 3 ads per page
A balanced ad-to-content ratio
Are there multiple Page Layout formula updates?
No. there’s a Google algorithm update below the name “Page Layout algorithm Update (Ads on top of The Fold)“, that is active for all search markets worldwide and that there are multiple data refreshes.
The Page Layout algorithm update was 1st introduced worldwide on Jan 19 2012 and solely affects 1%of all worldwide search requests. On Oct nineteenth 2012, as well as on Feb sixth 2014, adapted and improved versions of the ranking algorithm went live.
There are currently a complete of 3 versions of the Page Layout algorithm:
Page Layout algorithms #1: January 19th 2012
Page Layout algorithms #2: October 9th 2012
Page Layout algorithms #3: February 6th 2014
According to a tweet by Matt Cutts, the latest version of the Page Layout algorithm went live on February 6th 2014. This update of the present algorithm affects concerning 1% of all worldwide search requests, per Google.