Even though we are SEO consultants it’s beginning to get a little hard to keep up with all the updates Google keeps pumping out of their well oiled assembly line. This comes at the end of a huge update wave that included the EMD update, Panda #20 and the latest refresh of Penguin.
One interesting point that could explain this “apparent rise” in updates is Google actually announcing them. With so many algorithm tweaks happening all the time it makes sense that we’re not always in the know. Is Google simply trying to be more transparent and keep webmasters in the loop (something many have asked for)? Or is it a tactic they are using to create mass panic and fear within the SEO community to try and clean up webspam and make Google a better place for everyone?
To be honest I think it’s probably a little bit of both (I know i’m slightly concerned about the stranglehold Google has over the internet. As SEO consultants we’re merely pawns trying to make the right moves but ultimately depend on Google to survive).
Anyway enough of the dramatic ranting, let’s talk more about what the Google Page Layout algorithm is and how you can avoid it…
What the hell is the Google Page Layout Algorithm? (Let’s simply call it GLP from now on)
It has to do with ads and their placement on your site and nothing else. If Google checks out your page layout and sees too many ads for their liking above the fold you could get a big G bitch slap! (penalty and site devaluation).
This makes sense from a user experience point of view. How happy would you be if you had to scroll through a heap of ads before finding the actual content you wanted? It’s like those annoying ads on YouTube you have to sit through before actually getting to watch the video (you get my point).
Apparently the GLP update affects about 1 in every 100 searches.
What am I suppose to do about it?
Simple, get rid of any ads on your site or at least move them below the fold. This way visitors won’t have a hard time finding your content (the whole reason they are there in the first place). If you have built your site just to try and make money through advertising (think thin adsense sites) then you are doomed.
Instead focus on creating shit hot content that adds value, then when you have a good stream of traffic and a butt load of loyal fans maybe then think about incorporating ads. Just don’t go crazy with them, make sure they aren’t the main focus and place them somewhere they aren’t gonna piss off your visitors!