Google's New "Page Layout" Algorithm - Penalizes You for Ads Above the Fold

37 replies
  • SEO
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So long with shoving ads above the fold.

Wonder how they'll treat adsense??
Pages With Too Many Ads "Above The Fold" Now Penalized By Google's "Page Layout" Algorithm

Google's post explains this more:
If you decide to update your page layout, the page layout algorithm will automatically reflect the changes as we re-crawl and process enough pages from your site to assess the changes.

How long that takes will depend on several factors, including the number of pages on your site and how efficiently Googlebot can crawl the content.

On a typical website, it can take several weeks for Googlebot to crawl and process enough pages to reflect layout changes on the site.
#ads #algorithm #fold #google #page layout #penalizes
  • Profile picture of the author Geraldm
    Time for me to change all my adsense sites !!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Kris79
    This update is really funny especially when Google SERPs have many ads above the fold

    I think that you can have ads above the fold but you must do this smart, keeping ads to content ratio at good level.
    If somebody do not have any real content above the fold it might be problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author madison_avenue
    They say:

    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.
    It don't think it means 'no ads above the fold', just 'lots of ads above the fold'. As long as there is also good content above the fold, I don't think you would be penalized for a single ad. I always put an image ad above the fold, but I also have plenty of content there too.

    I am going to continue putting an ad there and see what happens by testing it.
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    • Profile picture of the author oneder
      Originally Posted by madison_avenue View Post

      They say:



      It don't think it means 'no ads above the fold', just 'lots of ads above the fold'. As long as there is also good content above the fold, I don't think you would be penalized for a single ad. I always put an image ad above the fold, but I also have plenty of content there too.

      I am going to continue putting an ad there and see what happens by testing it.
      Not true. I had a single ad aligned left starting right below the header, above the fold and the content to the right of it and lots of it. 2 sites totally slapped hard, deranking of lots of keywords that were at the top.

      I think there's more going on than a "layout" penalty. What themes are you all using if you got hit?
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Your taking this out of context.

    Google did not say you can't have Ads above the fold. They don't care If Ads are above the fold, what they want is to make sure you include content above the fold.





    Originally Posted by MaxReferrals View Post

    So long with shoving ads above the fold.

    Wonder how they'll treat adsense??
    Pages With Too Many Ads "Above The Fold" Now Penalized By Google's "Page Layout" Algorithm

    Google’s post explains this more:
    If you decide to update your page layout, the page layout algorithm will automatically reflect the changes as we re-crawl and process enough pages from your site to assess the changes.

    How long that takes will depend on several factors, including the number of pages on your site and how efficiently Googlebot can crawl the content.

    On a typical website, it can take several weeks for Googlebot to crawl and process enough pages to reflect layout changes on the site.
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    • Profile picture of the author dp40oz
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      Your taking this out of context.

      Google did not say you can't have Ads above the fold. They don't care If Ads are above the fold, what they want is to make sure you include content above the fold.
      It is amazing how many people just can't grasp this! 99% of websites will not ever notice this algo change. Most websites have ads above the fold. Its for pages that are doing things like stacking a 728x90 banner followed by 2 336x280 blocks on top of each other before any content is seen.
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      • Profile picture of the author Buyseech
        Originally Posted by dp40oz View Post

        It is amazing how many people just can't grasp this! 99% of websites will not ever notice this algo change. Most websites have ads above the fold. Its for pages that are doing things like stacking a 728x90 banner followed by 2 336x280 blocks on top of each other before any content is seen.
        I agree to an extent. In my oppinion a typical MFA site, viewed at (i believe still an averga resolution) of 1280x800 (somewhere around there) with a header, top menu bar , title and a big box of adsense with some text next to it (cannot be more than 200 words if there is a sidebar <- which also has ads) falls exactly into this category.

        Just my thoughts
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      • Profile picture of the author retsek
        Originally Posted by dp40oz View Post

        It is amazing how many people just can't grasp this! 99% of websites will not ever notice this algo change. Most websites have ads above the fold. Its for pages that are doing things like stacking a 728x90 banner followed by 2 336x280 blocks on top of each other before any content is seen.
        It's amazing that you can't grasp that 1% of searches DOES NOT equal 1% of the websites. And that's just taking Google's word for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Buyseech
    The WAR of MFA continues...

    In my oppinion there should be some sort of ratio of the AREA which is consumed by ADS and AREA wich is consumed by CONTENT. This does not include sidebars, menus etc. If this was lets say 1:10 with propper prominence (so 1:10 evenly distributed accross the entire site). I believe they could solve the issue with this. There would still be "adsense sites", but the people that wish to pursue this act, should build way more content, than they do now.

    I believe the big box under header and a wide skyscraper in the sidebar VS. 400-500 words of (dodgy) content is around 1:3.5 ...

    Just a thought

    Sincerely, Buyseech
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  • Profile picture of the author webjedi
    I have great ad/content ratio, really only one block is above the fold and there is a bunch of content up there next to it.

    My sites haven't lost any rank at all (looking forward to my competitor's CRAPPY MFA site who's ENTIRE above the fold is ALL ads drop from page one).

    My problem is that my $2.30 per click ads just dropped to $.03 !!!!!

    I checked Google contextual and they are still the same high CPC suggestions. Two of my sites have had CPC value plummet !!

    Anybody know if this is related and what is going on with this?

    WJ
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    • Profile picture of the author cagliostro
      Question to Google:

      Will this website

      Articles: Digital Photography Review

      be punished because they post ads above the fold (actually on the header, with no content), violating your guides or not ?

      or google is after the small guys (dpreview.com is AMAZON). I think all the fuzz is against small websites no matter how good or bad they are.

      And the rest about QUALITY is a joke.
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      • Profile picture of the author Bambu
        Originally Posted by cagliostro View Post

        Question to Google:

        Will this website

        Articles: Digital Photography Review

        be punished because they post ads above the fold (actually on the header, with no content), violating your guides or not ?

        or google is after the small guys (dpreview.com is AMAZON). I think all the fuzz is against small websites no matter how good or bad they are.

        And the rest about QUALITY is a joke.
        I think dprview.com is fine with their Adsense placment. Remember, Google is not penalizing people for putting ads above the fold, but too many ads above the fold. You know you are in trouble when you land your site and all you can see are ads and no content, e.g., two side by side 336 X 280 blocks.
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        • Profile picture of the author cagliostro
          Originally Posted by Bambu View Post

          I think dprview.com is fine with their Adsense placment. Remember, Google is not penalizing people for putting ads above the fold, but too many ads above the fold. You know you are in trouble when you land your site and all you can see are ads and no content, e.g., two side by side 336 X 280 blocks.
          Right or Wrong, Dpreview and ALL major commercial/corporate websites will not EVER be punished for anything.

          What happens is the Google is after the small guys in some very tight niches. All the rest about quality have nothing to do with reality.

          A good example is one of my websites in my signature. I have NO content since this is a SERVICE. And hundreds of sites like mine. Will i be punished ?
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          • Profile picture of the author JoeUK
            Originally Posted by cagliostro View Post

            Right or Wrong, Dpreview and ALL major commercial/corporate websites will not EVER be punished for anything.

            What happens is the Google is after the small guys in some very tight niches. All the rest about quality have nothing to do with reality.

            A good example is one of my websites in my signature. I have NO content since this is a SERVICE. And hundreds of sites like mine. Will i be punished ?
            I agree...
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    • Profile picture of the author Buyseech
      Originally Posted by webjedi View Post


      My sites haven't lost any rank at all (looking forward to my competitor's CRAPPY MFA site who's ENTIRE above the fold is ALL ads drop from page one).

      My problem is that my $2.30 per click ads just dropped to $.03 !!!!!
      I think thats exactly the case, and will be the case for this year (hopefully not the next). To clear out all MFA crappy sites which only discourage companies that are willing to fork out 2.3$ per click and get crappy traffic from crappy sites. I would not be surprised, if they found an alternate source or just plainly abandon Adwords alltogether.

      I believe that is the case to some extent, but 0.03 is really petty cash... I would investigate it, but dont bother contancting any google sources. Your prayers will fall on deaf ears.

      Sincerely, Buyseech
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    • Profile picture of the author imwarrior84
      Originally Posted by webjedi View Post

      I have great ad/content ratio, really only one block is above the fold and there is a bunch of content up there next to it.

      My sites haven't lost any rank at all (looking forward to my competitor's CRAPPY MFA site who's ENTIRE above the fold is ALL ads drop from page one).

      My problem is that my $2.30 per click ads just dropped to $.03 !!!!!

      I checked Google contextual and they are still the same high CPC suggestions. Two of my sites have had CPC value plummet !!

      Anybody know if this is related and what is going on with this?

      WJ
      I had the same problem as you, I don't really know what happened. Any one else with the same problems?

      Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author naturegirl321
    What if you just have one adsense advert and it's above the fold?
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  • Profile picture of the author DPM70
    The "Big G" can go take a flying £$%*, the hypocritical $%^&&^(S
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  • Profile picture of the author lukedidit
    Time for Google to penalise themselves again then.
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  • Profile picture of the author cagliostro
    How true is what some people here say "do not put all your eggs in one basket".

    How true.
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  • Profile picture of the author PerfectSolution
    so whats the verdict? no ads above the fold or a good ad to content ratio?
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    • Profile picture of the author Buyseech
      Originally Posted by PerfectSolution View Post

      so whats the verdict? no ads above the fold or a good ad to content ratio?
      Good ratio with propper prominence. A ratio of 1:10 is good, but if all the ads are on the top and all the content on the bottom (in ratio 1:10) its still not good.

      Evenly distributed is best. If people dont read your stuff, or scroll down even for a bit, you neednt worry, because you will never get anywhere in the first place.

      Problem solved.

      Sincerely, Buyseech
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      • Profile picture of the author jcbradley
        Originally Posted by webjedi View Post

        I have great ad/content ratio, really only one block is above the fold and there is a bunch of content up there next to it.

        My sites haven't lost any rank at all (looking forward to my competitor's CRAPPY MFA site who's ENTIRE above the fold is ALL ads drop from page one).

        My problem is that my $2.30 per click ads just dropped to $.03 !!!!!

        I checked Google contextual and they are still the same high CPC suggestions. Two of my sites have had CPC value plummet !!

        Anybody know if this is related and what is going on with this?

        WJ
        Check your site and make sure ads are being displayed, i had similar issue but not nearly as bad but noticed one of my 3 ad blocks werent displaying ads. heres a thread stating they fixed it but i m still having same issue

        AdSense ads not displaying (19/20 January 2012) - AdSense Help

        Originally Posted by Buyseech View Post

        Good ratio with propper prominence. A ratio of 1:10 is good, but if all the ads are on the top and all the content on the bottom (in ratio 1:10) its still not good.

        Evenly distributed is best. If people dont read your stuff, or scroll down even for a bit, you neednt worry, because you will never get anywhere in the first place.

        Problem solved.

        Sincerely, Buyseech
        Hey Buyseech, can you explain the ratio in detail. little confused on it.

        thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    No one ever said "no ads above the fold"...it's about how much CONTENT is actually thre above the fold.

    Bad example: Only ads/banners above fold, the typical thin and badly made MFA site
    Good example: One ad block and text wrapped above the fold.

    When a site visitor comes to your site, what does he see? Only ads? Or does he actually get what he wants without problems, eg. having to scroll down etc.

    Seriously...this is old news, just another measure to weed out badly made sites since anyone with a brain should already know those things.
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    • Profile picture of the author ecmweb
      I can speak from someone who it has affected.

      I have some business directories and yes I had a banner then 2 adsense units above the business info.

      My sites dropped hardcore on the 19th, 1 site averaging around $30 a day went to $2.

      So ive removed the banner and I'll see if it is accepted again.

      1 thing I do notice especially with competitors is that if you are in adsense premium this will not affect you at all. You can still place as many ads as you please. Google is letting the big fish swim as they please.
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      • Profile picture of the author retsek
        Originally Posted by ecmweb View Post

        I can speak from someone who it has affected.

        I have some business directories and yes I had a banner then 2 adsense units above the business info.

        My sites dropped hardcore on the 19th, 1 site averaging around $30 a day went to $2.

        So ive removed the banner and I'll see if it is accepted again.

        1 thing I do notice especially with competitors is that if you are in adsense premium this will not affect you at all. You can still place as many ads as you please. Google is letting the big fish swim as they please.
        Not necessarily.

        Sites with strong authority and plenty of positive signals will not be negatively affected by this update. This update maybe be recorded against those, but the shear weight of the positive signals discount it.

        It just so happens that most adsense premium publishers are large/old sites, with diverse backlink sources, millions of impressions in traffic, plenty of social mentions, etc.
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        • Profile picture of the author ecmweb
          Ok fair call retsek.

          I'm just grumpy cause I've lost money.

          I guess the best thing to do is work on my sites authority
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  • Profile picture of the author SeoKnightsInc
    Google is tightening their belt for the sniper sites. As they always say content is king they are paying more emphasis on Content.
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  • Profile picture of the author Geraldm
    Ok this may or may not be contributed to the Google change, but I have a PR4 website in the health (Cancer) niche ... it has hovered around position #6-7 for about a year now for a competitive .... it has 2 x (250x250) at blocks just under the first paragrath of each article (above the fold)...

    Since about 2 days ago it has dropped to position #8.

    Cheers .....
    Gerald.
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  • Profile picture of the author NiyazK
    I have lost rankings because i had 3 blocks of ads..
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    • Profile picture of the author cagliostro
      Originally Posted by NiyazK View Post

      I have lost rankings because i had 3 blocks of ads..
      What are you talking about ? Google adsense emails all of us, telling us that we "miss" some ads places. More ads that is (max 3).
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  • Profile picture of the author Bofu2U
    Once I converted a rectable to a link unit all went back to normal for me. Give that a try.
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  • Profile picture of the author trustumar
    this site, howtoloseweightfastb.com is not penalized. still ranking at # 1 for how to lose weight fast.
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    Coming Soon!

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  • Profile picture of the author marco005
    Hy,

    Is this google layout algo true or only speculation??

    Is it better and safer, when I will build my layout so;

    one link unit under the navbar,than an
    ad unit under the title right text wrapping

    and an wide skyscraper betwenn my posts/articles?

    Is this better and safer and brings enough clicks too?

    best wishes
    marco005
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  • Profile picture of the author timbarker
    Banned
    Google just want to stop MFA sites. Few contents but tons of ads.
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    • Profile picture of the author paulgl
      The title of this thread is misleading. Google does not
      hate ads above the fold, or even coming close to telling
      people NOT to put them there.

      So much misinformation on this topic...people need to
      actually READ the official google post and they would
      realize they have no need to panic.

      They have ALWAYS told you that if people can't find content
      on your page without a hassle, that is against adsense TOS.
      Always has been. It's always been against webmaster guidelines
      as well. But it has nothing to do with ads above the fold in
      that context alone.

      As what seems normal for google as of late, this is nothing new,
      EXCEPT a reiterating that they are finally going to enforce what
      they have proposed all along. Those that followed that in the
      past will have no problems.

      I have always followed adsense TOS, but if I could give a rip
      about adsense and google, I'd damn sure put ads where I
      wanted them and not let google run my website. Especially
      if the placement gave me tons of sales.

      Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author scorpi
    Where is the original Google’s post about their new lay out algorithm?
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