Google Algorithms in Testing Look At Ads On Page

You May Not Want Too Many Ads Above Your Content

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Google’s Matt Cutts and Amit Singhal spoke at PubCon today about search quality. They said a lot of things, but one thing that stood out was that Google is looking to penalize sites that show too many ads that make it more difficult to find the content.

Danny Sullivan quotes Cutts as saying, “If you have ads obscuring your content, you might want to think about it…Do they see content or something else that’s distracting or annoying?”

Cutts said they’re testing algorithms that determine, ”what are the things that really matter, how much content is above the fold.”

Ads have been been a known part of the Google quality equation for some time, particularly as people have tried to recover from the Panda update. Remember that list of questions Google put out that highlighted what webmasters should asking themselves when assessing the quality of their pages? One of those was:

Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?

So, it’s not exactly a huge new revelation that Google is looking at this stuff, but to hear that they’re actually testing new algorithms based on this is a new thing.

We’ll certainly be following developments in this area. Suffice it to say that now would probably be a good time to evaluate your ads to content ratio.

Google Algorithms in Testing Look At Ads On Page
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  • http://www.PlacesToEatOkay.com Steven

    That’s funny because I assumed when Google said it was looking at that issue that it was already implemented with Panda. I’ve already implemented changes based on what Google said and so I am confident that what we’ve done with ad placement and number of ads on the page will not affect my site’s rankings.

  • http://www.peake-cars.co.uk Mandy McAllistair

    What Google really mean is that they want to control the majority of revenue to be gained from online advertising by scaring people into using Adwords only. Which are conveniently typically placed on the righthand side!

    Pick up a newspaper which you have paid for and it contains adverts. You skip the ads and read the content. Why should online be different?!

    Google is well and truly on the way to becoming big brother!

  • Jake Fox

    There’s quite a few ads on this page actually… :-)

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