Google recently announced their new ‘Page Layout Algorithm’ which will penalize websites that have too many ads above the fold. This news is definitely going to hurt lot of webmasters, especially the ones that make money with AdSense from their websites. This is what Google has to say:
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.
I wonder if users really send emails or call Google and tell them about sites that have a lot of banner ads above the fold but this is a good move in my opinion. There are two kind of websites or blogs that I really hate. One of those are websites which have a center aligned 768 x 90 size banner right on top of their header and the others are ones with two rectangles right below the post title. It seems that this Google update will take care of such websites.
Bad News For AdSense Publishers
We all know that the pay-per-click income for AdSense is going down day by day. I see Google AdSense publishers complaining about low click incomes everyday. Most of these publishers try to optimize their placements and the best placement that is working for everyone is the two rectangles right above the post or just below the post title. According to me, such websites are made for AdSense websites who rate their ads above their content. According to the Google ‘Page Layout Algorithm’ update, it seems that these sites will start ranking low and the website owners will have to take some action and remove those ad placements.
So on one hand we have a low ranking site slapped by Google’s latest update making less money and other hand we have a website which has removed those ads but is earning far less. Both ways, AdSense publishers are at a loss. All in all, this is a very good move by Google because at the end its the AdWords advertisers who will be benefitted by this. No less quality clicks now and the Internet will be a better place.
What do you think of this update? Will you remove your ‘above the fold’ banner ads or will you wait and see if Google really slaps your website?