Google made a lot of changes to their algorithm over the last year and while there are some changes that I feel are unwarranted there is one update in particular that I welcomed. That update is the Google Page Layout Algorithm which targeted websites with excessive ads above the fold. The extent to which some sites went to display ads really showed that revenue came before user experience.
The update decreased the ranks of sites whose pages had more ads than content. Sites with relatively few ads above the fold remained unaffected by the change as long as the content balanced out the advertising.
Contrary to some reports Google’s goal was never to discourage advertising. In fact if some of the ads were repositioned below the fold your site would have recovered if you were affected by the update. If you run a business blog or website this would have been the opportunity to revisit your site layout since your advertising could very well have been detracting your site visitors from your main message.
Today as I continue to browse the internet I still come upon a number of sites that have not made the recommended changes. If you are one of those webmasters who have not yet made the revisions here are some things that you need to consider to get back in Google’s but more importantly your site visitors good graces.
Evaluate Your Design
People do business with people and companies that they trust and a company page that is filled with ads does not build trust. A site visitor coming to your site for information about how you can help them does not want to be confronted with endless ads unless they are ads about your products. Remove unnecessary advertising and make it easy for visitors to find the information that they need.
Evaluate your SEO
One very important lesson that webmasters learned this year is that they need to keep tabs on what their SEO companies do if SEO is outsourced. The way that your SEO company builds your links could have a major effect on your site’s rank. If you receive lots of backlinks from sites that do not conform to Google’s policies your site could suffer a fate similar to those sites.
Google does not provide a content to ad ratio so it is up to you to let common sense dictate. Be open to this change and instead of mourning the loss of revenue you just might find that your site visitors would be more engaged when they land on your site. This will decrease your bounce rate and improve your page rank. In the end that’s what we all want, right?