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Pages With Too Many Ads “Above The Fold” Now Penalized By Google’s “Page Layout” Algorithm

 
chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 01/20/2012

Since the beginning of Wizzley we've been saying it over and over again...

1. don't start your article with ads

2. don't start with a big picture (even though it may please a visitor, it's not the best SEO practice)

3. don't start with very little (blah-blah) text followed by several ads

4. don't focus on placing your ads "above the fold" (before the reader must scroll down to see more)

 

Instead, focus on VALUE "above the fold"...

1. a good reader experience

2. interesting, relevant information

3. give (info) before you try to take (ads)

 

Here's an article about the new Google layout algo changes, effective immediately!


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
DrDarko
Posts: 31
Message
on 01/20/2012

Yes! Unfortunately Google AdSense and Google search offer opposing advices.

 

The recipe seems to be:

1. Introductory text (with a potential immediate punchline in order to capture the visitor).

2. Info text with a potential small image for illustration.

3. Continued informational text with at least 100 words for each ad.

4. Conclusion and summation of the article after all ads.

5. Potential gadgets like polls or link lists...

 

At least, that's my 2 cents...


--- DrDarko - at Wizzley
Digby_Adams
Posts: 698
Message
on 01/20/2012

Does this mean that Wizzley will have to move its first Adsense Block further down the page? It is very ironic that Google did not revise its "Heat Map" that encourages a different mindset.

chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 01/20/2012

The article (link above) also talks about Google's double standards, etc., but that shouldn't concern us too much. For our purpose it's important to know that Google will punish articles with excessive ads above the fold. Starting now!


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
2uesday
Posts: 321
Message
on 01/20/2012

Thank you for the update things to do with search engines seem change so rapidly, it helps to get information like this.

Sam
Posts: 723
Message
on 01/20/2012

 

chefkeem: 20. Jan 2012, 10:28

Since the beginning of Wizzley we've been saying it over and over again...

1. don't start your article with ads

 

Hm, excuse me, but there are ads by default on Wizzley just below the intro passage. Not ads that cover the whole screen, but still...


chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 01/20/2012

Exactly. That's why we shouldn't begin our articles with a bunch of Amazon ads and leave no more room for informative content above the fold.


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
katiem2
Posts: 1044
Message
on 01/20/2012

Good to know, I adhere to this rule, as I believe good content with a good beginning middle and end lead the reader down the page.  How does it apply for those using Chitka ads, forgive the spelling if wrong.  


TerriRexson
Posts: 175
Message
on 01/21/2012

At many common screen resolutions there isn't really any user content above the fold on Wizzley when the big format ads are used - why so much whitespace?

On my laptop which I normally use, with the font at  a comfortable size and the various menu bars at the top of my browser, I see no content at all other than the header on Wizzley. I see much more content on Squidoo for example. 

There's lot of empty space above the fold. I have wondered if that puts readers off, I know it puts some writers off. And I have been a bit concerned about it, but I've just trusted that you guys are still tweaking the layout and will work out what's best. 

In my view a product on a product page is very useful to readers, and some may leave if they don't see what they are expecting pretty quickly. It's just confusing and inconvenient for users if you use non-clickable product images (and I don't think it's even allowed for Zazzle for example.) I'll go along with it if we think it's what google wants, but let's not kid ourselves it's useful to users. 

 

 


chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 01/21/2012

Terri - looking at your Ninja Costumes...I see 1 Google ad under the social buttons, and then a long TOC. But still, your first ad pic and description are already visible at the bottom of the screen (above the fold). I would move the TOC to the bottom (or further down) of the page to create a perfectly-useful, first impression. 

It's better on your Nintendo Wii article - your TOC comes after the first sales modules. However, there I see 4 Google ads and the white space. Still, the user gets a good chunk or content above the fold.

We may have to rethink the first ad block (in light of the algo changes) and how we can do something about that white space. But I don't think that Google would punish us for having a big AdSense block, IF there is plenty of content visible above the fold.

 


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
Marie
Posts: 245
Message
on 01/21/2012

From everything I've read, it seems that Google is only going to punish sites which use top-heavy ads in an excessive manner. I can't see that any pages on Wizzley have an excessive amount of ads before any useful content.

I have seen examples of pages while browsing the Internet which I would say have an excessive amount of ads before you get to any 'useful' content at all. And these look nothing like what we have here!

Bearing in mind too that there are quite strict limitations here on Wizzley where we have to write so many words in exchange for some sales units, I think (and hope) that is enough to satisfy Google. Those same limitations are not in place on some other writing revenue sites which could be negatively impacted.


TerriRexson
Posts: 175
Message
on 01/21/2012

On a big monitor I would see more. But more and more people are using laptops, netbooks, tablets and ultrabooks to browse the web at lower resolution. The smaller format ad blocks are fine, but I see the large format ones a lot more. 

Ha! I moved the table of contents up on that article to avoid having a block with an product link at the top. 

Sadly many visitors are turned off by long blocks of text. You need to give them an image or a clear indication that they are in the right place. 

A table of contents is a good way of telling them that you do have what they want. Sometimes they'll click but other times in just reassures them that they're in the right place. 

I wasn't concerned about google punishing us for the large adsense block, but readers and writers being put off by it. 

I think Marie is right that Wizzley isn't the kind of site google is targeting, but it's right to worry about these things and keep thinking about them. 


chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 01/21/2012

Terri - moving the TOC is my personal preference because I think people want to be hit with "meat" not "read", as soon as they open the page. ADD is spreading quickly.   Laughing

However, in light of your spectacular successes I may have to rethink my position. 

If you don't want to start with an ad/description block, you could always write a seductive, 2-sentence intro. (But you knew that.)  Smile


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
Marie
Posts: 245
Message
on 01/21/2012

 

TerriRexson: 21. Jan 2012, 12:11

I wasn't concerned about google punishing us for the large adsense block, but readers and writers being put off by it. 

Great point Terri. Yes I definitely know of some writers who are certainly put off from writing on Wizzley because they don't like the look of the big ad block at the top of the pages. I've read things on other forums like Squidoo and Hubs where people have had that complaint.

I'm less concerned with what writers want though and more concerned (as I guess most of us are) with what actual readers want and providing a good user experience. Wizzley doesn't need to pander to writers unless it doesn't have enough quality writers to make the site financially viable.

 


chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 01/21/2012

It's impossible to please everyone, Marie. Google AdSense above the fold appears to be converting very well for both authors and Wizzley. But we'll keep tweaking and discussing and trying to find the right balance.


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
Marie
Posts: 245
Message
on 01/21/2012

 

chefkeem: 21. Jan 2012, 13:09

It's impossible to please everyone, Marie. Google AdSense above the fold appears to be converting very well for both authors and Wizzley. But we'll keep tweaking and discussing and trying to find the right balance.

Yes, don't get me wrong, I'm definitely happy with my own conversion rates here on Wizzley :) Seems to work very well how it is.


Janet21
Posts: 298
Message
on 01/21/2012

Regarding the first ad block,  I agree when the 4 ad google block displays it takes up a lot of room and leaves a good amount of white space to the right.   Plus, at most, only the title and 1-2 lines of text are visible above the fold. 

For comparison purposes, Squidoo also has a google ad block on top of the page.   This block displays 3 adsense ads.  However, even with this ad block, the title, a portion of the intro image plus 8-9 lines of text are visable above the fold.   And no white space.

I took a tape measure to the screen and the 4 ad Wizzley google block measures approx. 2 3/4" and the 3 ad Squidoo google block measures approx. 1 1/4".  That is a difference of about 1 1/2" of space which is a lot above the fold. 

Also, how come sometimes the large 4 link ad block displays and other times just the one ad?   Why is it not always the same.  Does it depend on what ads google can find for that particular page?

Just some thoughts. 

Marisawright
Posts: 24
Message
on 01/25/2012

 

TerriRexson: 21. Jan 2012, 10:42

At many common screen resolutions there isn't really any user content above the fold on Wizzley when the big format ads are used...

On my laptop which I normally use, with the font at  a comfortable size and the various menu bars at the top of my browser, I see no content at all other than the header on Wizzley. 

 

It worries me, too. I do feel my content is being pushed down the page a bit too much.  I can see lots of content "above the fold" on my PC, but how many people have screens that big these days?

The problem is the definition of "above the fold".   In their blog post on the change, Google refers to their Browser Size tool.  What they don't say is which percentage do they choose as their benchmark?

It would be reasonable to think they'd choose either the 95% or 90% mark, which means the "fold" is between 4 and 5 inches from the top. At 4 inches, you can't see any of my text. At 5 inches, you can see my first sub-heading and two lines of text.  I'm really concerned that's not enough.

The funny thing is that HubPages has a big Adsense ad above the Hub too (you can't see it unless you're logged out), but somehow, more of the article is displayed above the 5 inch mark.


Marisa
chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 01/25/2012

Just to let y'all know...we're currently evaluating this issue.  Smiley


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
Sam
Posts: 723
Message
on 01/26/2012

 

chefkeem: 25. Jan 2012, 11:37

Just to let y'all know...we're currently evaluating this issue.  Smiley

Good, why not use a smaller ad format? One that displays only one ad (which typically has a higher CTR / CPC anyway) and that leaves space for content? Me thinks it is time that Wizzley does some split testing on ad formats ;-)


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