And another update from Google that would slap any website showing excessive ads above the fold. They called it Page Layout Algorithm Improvement update. I see both goods and bads for this change and noticed mixed reactions from others (most of them were totally negative though looking at  Google’s own biased ads loaded search page).

The change is implemented in attempt to enhance the user experience and find only high quality and most relevant websites in search results.

The algorithm says that sites that places too many ads above the fold compromising the real content availability for users will be penalized and the ones not complying to this change may not rank higher anymore.

In their own words, “This algorithmic change does not affect sites who place ads above- the-fold to a normal degree, but affects sites that go much further to load the top of the page with ads to an excessive degree or that make it hard to find the actual original content on the page.

What does they mean with “normal degree”?
It could be 1 or maximum 2 ads while keeping the user engaged and attracted to real and relevant content that brough him to the website from search engine rankings. When it comes to above the fold, website owners can check their browsers size using tools like browser tool at Google labs and others. It’d help them restructure their page to pretend more relevant to Google’s new page layout change.

My Opinions and Thoughts

First of all what would content mean here?

Images, banners, graphics, text, animations that doesn’t direct the user to other website is a content. Anything that redirects user to another website would be considered as an ad. Now this change is going to negatively influence the popularity of banner ads and favor in-text links.

Websites and blogs that make a good income from sidebar banner spots would be upset. Made for adsense templates will have no value anymore. Websites would love to use useability tools like Crazyegg to have an idea of user response.
Because Google still ranks websites based upon more of content, there should be more room for SEO optimized content and tags. With some quick searches, I don’t see much of the differences in results and Google says this update would affect the search by 1% only.

If your analytics and stats gave you lesser traffic data, this is a signal to do some homework and restructure the website. Even if your rankings are shuffled because of this page layout Google update, it can be recovered as soon as your website is recrawled.