Google to punish sites with many ads at the top of pages

The company will lower the search ranking of websites where "excessive" amounts of ads force users to scroll down to find content

Websites that load the top of their pages with ads, forcing visitors to scroll down to view content, will take a hit on their Google rankings.

Google has concluded that its users are bothered by this type of layout so it will begin penalizing them in search results, the company said in a blog post.

"If you click on a website and the part of the website you see first either doesn't have a lot of visible content above-the-fold or dedicates a large fraction of the site's initial screen real estate to ads, that's not a very good user experience. Such sites may not rank as highly going forward," wrote Matt Cutts, a Google engineer who is considered the company's main authority on search engine optimization (SEO).

Google will not punish websites that place ads at the top of their pages to what the company considers "a normal degree" but rather those with an "excessive" amount of ads that make it hard for users to find the site's original content.

"This new algorithmic improvement tends to impact sites where there is only a small amount of visible content above-the-fold or relevant content is persistently pushed down by large blocks of ads," Cutts wrote. Google forecasts that this particular algorithmic tweak will impact the order of results in less than 1 percent of searches.

As often happens whenever Google introduces search algorithm changes, webmasters are already chiming in, and some aren't very happy, as evidenced by some of the comments left on Cutts' blog post.

Several commenters argue that it's hypocritical of Google to punish sites for something that they believe Google itself is often guilty of, while others suggest that it shouldn't be Google's business how sites decide to lay out their ads, especially when the Google policy could impact how effective the ads are.

Juan Carlos Perez covers search, social media, online advertising, e-commerce, web application development, enterprise cloud collaboration suites and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?