Do you have to pass through a lot of ads at the top of your web page and you are just exhausted of doing a Google search and tired of landing on these types of pages? If your answer is ‘yes’, well I think time has finally come for you all to shout and rejoice as Google has announced that it will penalize sites that are already loaded heavy with ads.
Stuffed with Ads?? Take a look around
The recent change called- Above the fold algorithm”. Google recently announced this significant algorithmic fill in. This new update will penalize sites with no or little content above the fold or sites that are deliberately pushing relevant content below large blocks of ads.
Placing ads above the fold is definitely a very common practice for many websites as these ads are the good source of income for many publishers but it is good as long as they remain within acceptable limits. Users will not have much of the effect as Google estimates that less than 1% of the search result will be affected. Actually, the probable chance of getting noticed of this reordering of results by typical users would be as least as 1 out of 100. For webmasters, who have recently updated their sites layout, will automatically gets reflected the changes as Google repeats crawling a sufficient number of pages from your pages to access the changes made. Webmasters donot have to notify Google after modifying their sites and updating it as according to the algorithm. So, simply if you are updating your site, it is to be notified that not to keep too many ads above the fold or your site may simply land up on the penalty side.
So, sites not having much content on “above the fold” can be affected by this change. If you click on a website and the initial part of the website, if does not relate to the related content or may have a lot of ads on it, then your website might not get a very good user experience. Such sites may not get a good rank in the search engine.
Know Your Limit:
Google also posted this latest algorithm update to its Google Webmaster Central Blog. But, this update also denotes that sites using pop-ups or overlay ads are not at all impacted. Only the ads in the sites that are static in fixed position on the pages are going to be affected after this update.
At the same time, there is also a question being popped out in everyone’s mind that how much is too much? How can you determine whether you have too many ads above the fold or not? As according to Matt Cutts, he said to make use of Google Browser – browsersize.googlelabs.com to conclude how much of a page is visible at a glance to the visitors. This would help them to decide what percentage of content is being visible above the fold or it is simply stuffed with silly ads.
We do understand that placing ads above the fold is a very common practice for many websites and these often perform well and help publishers to monetize from online content. This algorithmic update does not affect sites which have placed ads to a normal degree; instead it tends to affect sites that are loaded with excessive ads above the fold which makes it hard for the visitors to find the actual content on the page.
Done amending your site? Penalty does not immediately lifts:
What happens if your site is hit? It is advisable to fix your ads on the site and then wait a few weeks. If you have planned to reduce ads above-the-fold and you have already fixed that on your site, then you need to wait for sometime as penalty doesnot instantly disappear. Instead Google will make a note of it when it visits for the next time. Generally, this lifting up of penalty do takes time.
As according to Google’s Post it explains vividly that if you are planning to update your page layout, then this page layout algorithm will automatically reflect the changes as Google often re-crawls the pages from your site to access the pages. The duration definitely depends on several factors such as the number of pages on your site and efficiently Google bot can crawl the content. Generally, for a normal website it takes several weeks for Google bot to crawl and process a number of pages to replicate the particular layout changes on the site.
Thus, with the introduction of this latest algorithmic update from Google, Web Pages have been penalized for stuffing too many ads above the fold or you may also say that pushing contents below a certain level which makes it hard to find the related content for the visitors. If you are scared about your site, then don’t waste time and fix your ads as fast as you can or simply your site may be visible behind the bars!!
Aditi Datta is a professional SEO strategist who sets SEO plans for a leading SEO company in India. She is also Social Media Optimizer and a professional blogger.