Internet giant Google improves its search engine algorithm. For the first time the design of a website takes part in the search results. Homepages that show a lot of ads will be rated worse in the future.
According to Matt Cutts, Distinguished Engineer of Google, the newly implemented change to the algorithm shouldn’t affect more than one percent of all searches. Still, this modification is probably not as important as the previous Freshness– and Panda-Update. The Panda-Change had an impact of six to nine percent while the Freshness-Update even affected up to 35 percent of all searches.
The change is primary directed at domains that are heavily advertising in the upper area. Sites using Pop-Ups or overlay ads are not affected this.
“As we’ve mentioned previously, we’ve heard complaints from users that if they click on a result and it’s difficult to find the actual content, they aren’t happy with the experience. Rather than scrolling down the page past a slew of ads, users want to see content right away. So sites that don’t have much content “above-the-fold” can be affected by this change.” – Cutts
With the implementation of the layout of websites to the algorithm Google has made a huge step forward.
Cutts recommends to hide the ads or to edit the design in an appropriate way. The new algorithm would detect the changes in the next run of the crawler and change the ranking immediately.
“On a typical website, it can take several weeks for Googlebot to crawl and process enough pages to reflect layout changes on the site.” – Cutts
All that glitters is not gold
In my Opinion Google’s approach is completely right. “Ad-banner-garbage-dumps” which are ranked on top of the search results annoy me very often.
Critics will probably accuse Google to have double standards. Google sins against its own requirement quite obvious. Depending on the browser resolution there is a large part of visible advertisements on Google’s search result page.
The example above is pretty extreme since we can see the maximum of three ads that Google will ever show “above-the-fold”.
(low resolution netbook)