Too many ads "above the fold" on your pages? Look out. Google's got a new penalty rolling out.
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- This is Google's first roll out of this algo, as they reiterate and "improve" it I suspect it won't just affect all-out spammy sites with too many top heavy ads but also legit sites as well, there is always collateral damage and innocent sites do get torched as well. If Google was merely a search engine then I wouldn't complain so loudly. But they are also pushing their own services, bundled in their results, competing with others they are now penelizing. It seems strange that Google's services and offerings always seem to do so well after these types of updates.
Take Youtube and Google Places as an example, both of which are riddled with dup, spam and ads. I have seen more spam and less human oversight on G Places than any other business directory and yet it almost always appears at the top. This shouldn't happen according to Google's principles, now we have them penelizing sites for top heavy ads, at least they should lead by example. A reduction from 3 to 2 ads at the top of the serps would have been a good start. My previous comments about Google/legal action were based on their actions over the last few years, not just this decision to hit ad heavy sites.Jan 19, 2012
- Is Google assessing the number of ads on a site above the fold or the percentage of space the ads take when rendered? The language used in Matt's post such as "slew of ads" makes me wonder whether this is actually a number of ads above the fold penalty rather than a penalty based on percentage of space vs. content.Jan 20, 2012
- , when the post says "sites that don’t have much content “above-the-fold” can be affected by this change", you can consider the ads at the top of a Google search to be "content". It all comes down to relevancy; if someone is searching for credit cards, those ads at the top are likely to be something they are interested in. Also, the fact that this change will affect less than 1% of searches means that it's targeted at sites that blatantly throw a ton of ads (where they are not relevant at all) at you in a way that will drive people away.
I know this probably won't do anything to change the way you feel about this, but thought it was worth saying. *Disclaimer* - these are my views, and are not necessarily the views of my employer.Jan 20, 2012
- - Your argument doesn't make sense considering that Google is clearly targeting its own Adsense partners with this penalty. When you see spammy looking ad heavy sites aren't they usually sites with a slew of Google Adwords? Where is this big problem on the internet with sites that have large banners clogging them up? It doesn't exist! Google Adwords on poor quality sites is the problem!
Also, aren't these Adsense ads supposed to be targeted based on the content, thus relevant, not unlike Adwords on Google search results? These spammy looking Adwords sites could make the same claim you did ... Adwords are content. If this was Google's position, it would be a little self serving don't your think?Jan 20, 2012
- Thank you Google, improving all the timeJan 20, 2012
- , I certainly wouldn't agree with you that "Google is clearly targeting its own Adsense partners with this penalty". That's a conclusion that you've drawn from the post and there actually are sites out there that have tons of banner ads (and are of poor quality). I WILL agree that poor quality sites with a lot of Adsense ads are a problem, though I don't know whether this change actually addresses that problem.
IF the change DOES target those sites you mentioned (as I won't be so obstinate as to completely discount that as a possibility), then are you saying that Google search results are comparable to them? (If so, that's fine, as everyone has their own opinion). However, the way I see it, when people search on Google, they are looking for something and use the results as a gateway, whereas on pages that use AdSense, they aren't necessarily intending to use the page as a gateway. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with using AdSense, but there's definitely a way to use it irresponsibly and I support the decision to not return those pages as high in search results.Jan 20, 2012
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