Apparently Google wants to put website publishers in a quandary between generating ad revenue and establishing search engine rankings.
Yesterday Google announced that it was improving it’s search algorithm which specifically targets the above-the-fold experience for users.
What Exactly Does This Mean?
That’s the million dollar question, as this algorithm change seems to affect those who put high value on advertisements that are placed above the fold.
Don’t worry – if you’re a real publisher, you’re smart enough to know that a few well-placed ads probably won’t result in any noticeable changes for you.
Don’t believe me? Here’s exactly what Google says:
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 algorithm 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.
If you own a splog, however, you might want to rearrange a few things.
It’s Really Not that Big a Deal, or Is It?
The new above-the-fold algoritm change from Google has been said to only impact about 1% of global searches.
Now hold on, don’t start playing the percentage Russian Roulette game and disregard the improvement. Check out what Alan Bleiweiss has to say about this:
As is typical of Google, Matt (Cutts) says in the article that this change is really minor – in that it should only impact about 1 percent of all searches globally. That of course, leads too many people to think “oh cool – I can ignore this one too…”
Alan kinda knows what he’s talking about – he is a Director of Search Services and writes for Search Engine Journal. He goes on to say:
Except that’s a big mistake. All too common in our industry. With billions upon billions of searches taking place, that’s an aweful lot of searches impacted. Heck, given how the “real” impact of the “not-provided” turned out to be compared to Google’s initial claims, people really need to pay attention here. Because this one IS something you can respond to and address, a lot more readily than making up for the “not-provided” hit you or your client sites might have taken.
Fearing the Wrath of Google
Obviously this isn’t a major algorithm change from Google, but it can impact a group of folks who walk the fine line between generating content and placing ads on their site – primarily above the fold.
I’m not thinking twice about this change, as you can see, because my site doesn’t have any ads on it. Nor do any of our products sites.
In my opinion, the sites that thrive off of page views – perhaps celebrity blogs and other media sharing websites – will be the ones most affected.
Yes, We’re Looking at YOU
So if you showcase a questionable amount of content on your pages, with a pretty decent emphasis on showing ads above the fold, you might want to reconsider your site layout. Or business model. Or both.
In other words, you’ve been warned (by Google, that is). If you’re up for losing revenue by ignoring this latest algorithm change, that’s your call.
As the idiom goes, “As you make your bed, so you must lie in it…”