what is google page layout algorithm
Google introduced the Page Layout Algorithm to target websites that place ads above the fold. The Page Layout Algorithm is also known as ‘top heavy’ or ‘the above the fold’ updates. On your website, above the fold is the upper most section that does not require a site visitor to scroll downwards so that they will not see the ads. The updates were introduced at the start of 2012 following complaints from searchers who lamented about sites that featured more ads than they did any valuable content.
As such, the algorithm penalizes websites that feature above the fold ads and awards those with proper content with well- balanced ratio of ads. Sites with ads above the fold will experience lower rankings following the Google updates.
What you Should Do to Avoid Being Penalized :
While this update may not seem as severe as the Panda or Penguin updates, Google is keen to serve quality content websites to searchers as opposed to sites that are flooded with ads. This does not mean that websites cannot host ads anymore; the point is to balance the amount of ads and to focus on offering quality content.
Pay attention to design – Undoubtedly, gone are the days when you could design your site the way you wanted to. To avoid page layout algorithm penalties, it is best to place as few ads at the top as possible. If the first thing that your site visitors see is ads, they are less likely to see your site as a trustworthy source of information. If your site does not demonstrate trust, Google is likely to penalize you with lower rankings and diminished traffic.
Check your links – The web is admittedly interconnected and this could not be truer in these times of various Google updates. If your site links to sites that have been negatively impacted, it is likely that your site will be afflicted by lower rankings and reduced traffic. It is a good idea to re-evaluate your links to make sure that you are linking to and are linked to sites that comply with the page layout requirements for ads
Amend your ads – Lastly, if your site displays ads above the fold, you need to eliminate these. Google does not say how they determine if a site has gone too far with the ads; they leave this to the site owner to decide. Make use of the Google Browser size tool to see how site visitors will view your site in terms of content vs. ads. If there are too many ads when they access your site, it is an indication to reduce these ads.
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