Above the Fold Image -- A Total No-No?

12 replies
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I have a site that has a very large image on the very top that I have an emotional connection to.

Sadly the site got hit by penguin after ranking #1 for years. (however it didn't get hit by the January above the fold penalty).

I've heard some talk about how a site should be viewed as 800x600 ... and if there is no content -- then its not good.

Anyone know anything on this?

The image is not an ad.. just just a large graphic.

Anyone know of a way I could keep the image and still be ok in G's eyes?
#fold #image #nono #total
  • Profile picture of the author retsek
    Penguin looks mainly at Off-page factors. If your site survived the Above the Fold upate, then I wouldn't change anything. Images are content, you know.
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  • Profile picture of the author tylerherman
    So you have a giant image at the top that takes up most of the viewport? Not really a great idea design and usability wise but that shouldn't be why you get hit by panda.

    By lack of content above the fold Google doesn't want nothing but ads above the fold. Your image shouldn't matter.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Oilman
    Ok -- yes it says many words on it (so I ugess it is content)... Yes I agree Tyler its not the best move but I tried to outconvert it with a headline for years and it never worked... So I just kind of stuck with it.

    I do however feel that Penguin may look at navigation above the fold.. which this also does not have......
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  • Profile picture of the author RevSEO
    I wrote on this extensively after Penguin launched and was one of the first to present this idea.

    After doing a good amount of research, having many people reach out to me, and even helping several recover rankings. I strongly believe that this was part of Google's update in Penguin.

    In Google's official launch of Penguin they even talked about and referred to the "above-the-fold" update. Remember, this is targeting "webspam" and Google's ultimate result is to provide the results that people are searching for.

    What had happened is you had websites with huge above-the-fold objects (advertisements, lead gens, opt-ins, etc) dominating the rankings. The content, which is what people are searching for afterall, was found way below the fold. The content was usually perfectly optimized and was exactly what Google "wanted" to see. Users on the other hand didn't want to see that content.

    Some things I've noticed from those sites hit:
    - Full sitewide similar above-the-fold objects
    - Sites with advertisements, optins, etc that show in the above the fold region with little to no content

    Try using plugins or extensions and view your site in 800x600 and see how much "true" content is actually in that section. Most people are surprised at just how little can actually be displayed in this area, which is why its crucial to put some content there, especially if you just got destroyed by Penguin.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Oilman
    Thanks RevSEO. You are very smart...

    So would you say that this image is bad .. even if its not an ad, and has alt text, etc?
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    • Profile picture of the author RevSEO
      Originally Posted by The Oilman View Post

      Thanks RevSEO. You are very smart...

      So would you say that this image is bad .. even if its not an ad, and has alt text, etc?
      Feel free to PM me the URL if you want and I can take a look.

      If the image IS sitewide (meaning on a high % of your pages) and does take up a lot of room then I'd recommend removing it and testing it yourself.

      Again, feel free to PM if you want and I can take a look and give you my $0.02
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  • Profile picture of the author kviv23
    Hey! just would like you to know that penguin update is totally complete. So if you are not hit yet you will not be. and you shouldn't be. why?

    Your picture is a simple picture... thats it.
    It is not intended to collect the leads.
    It is not a part of a any form or offer to attract visitors.

    there should not be any trouble i think.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Oilman
    REvSEO -- No its not statewide. Its just on the home page.
    Its pretty big -- 621 x 750.

    I'd love to keep it but I would feel like a fool if tis contributing to Penguin.

    I DO feel that they may (if they haven't already) prefer above the fold navigation.
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    • Profile picture of the author Carl Brown
      Here's a link to the Google Browser Size Tool.

      Browser Size

      Here's what they say about it. Take from it what you will:

      As we’ve mentioned previously, 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.

      We understand that placing ads above-the-fold is quite common for many websites; these ads often perform well and help publishers monetize online content. This algorithmic change does not affect sites who place ads above-the-fold to a normal degree, but affects sites that go much further to load the top of the page with ads to an excessive degree or that make it hard to find the actual original content on the page. This new algorithmic improvement tends to impact sites where there is only a small amount of visible content above-the-fold or relevant content is persistently pushed down by large blocks of ads. Source

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  • Profile picture of the author RevSEO
    It doesn't sound like that's your problem.

    The sites that I've seen/consulted for post-Penguin all had large sitewide above-the-fold issues. A large homepage image likely isn't your problem.

    My recommendation would be to look at your backlinks, and whether or not you are overly optimized onsite.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Oilman
    I feel like it could mean Adsense ads..
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    • Profile picture of the author RevSEO
      Originally Posted by The Oilman View Post

      I feel like it could mean Adsense ads..
      It means all ads, regardless of which. A couple sites I consulted with had a TON of Adsense blocks above the fold and were hit hard.

      I'm trying to talk them into removing atleast one block above the fold to test this theory.
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