Do you have too much ads on your site?

Google has introduced again a new algorithm change, “page layout algorithm”.  The new change is aimed for penalizing sites that are too heavily loaded with ads.

Google posted the same information about the new change on its Inside Search blog and Google Webmaster Central blog:

“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. 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.”

This change doesn’t impact on sites that are using pop-ups, pop-unders or overlay ads; it only applies to static ads in fixed positions on pages themselves.

How do you know what is too much?

According to Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s web spam team, Google won’t be offering any kinds of tools to tell if you have too much ads or not.  Google is encouraging people to make use of  e.g. its Google Browser Size tool to understand how much page’s content compared to ads is visible to visitors under various screen resolutions at first glance when they open the page.

Google’s blog post addresses though, that the change should only hit pages that have abnormally large number of ads above-the-fold (compared to the web as a whole).  And according to Cutts again, the change will impact less that 1 % of Google’s searches globally.

So if you have little or no content showing above the fold for commonly-used screen resolutions, I would advice you to fix your site, just in case. And do it fast, the change has already started going into effect.

Infographic: The Periodic Table Of SEO Ranking Factors

Search Engine Land published and presented a nice new infographic about SEO ranking factors. These ranking factors, or signals, influence how search engines are rewarding different sites. Search engine optimization should ensure that the content generates right type of signals.

The Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors summarizes the major factors to focus on to be able to success in your search engine optimization practice.

SEO-ranking-factorsThis is the condensed version. You can see the full version from here.

Brunch in Malta

Brunch in Malta – that is not very SEO related, or is it? In this case – yes, it is.

All started when I was looking for some brunch place for the weekend in Malta. I tried to Google “brunch in malta”, “malta brunch” and “brunch malta”. Nothing.

Is it really so that there is no brunch places in Malta? Or are the websites just so badly optimized that it’s impossible to find them by using search engines?

In case there are some brunch places in Malta, it wouldn’t be too hard to get #1 ranking in Google. This is what you need to do:

1. Decide what is the most important brunch-related keyword/ -phrase you want to focus on. This is done by using keyword research tools.

2. Optimize the page title for that keyphrase by using the keyword in the title, preferably starting the title with the keyphrase.

3. Optimize the site content by repeating the keyphrase and varieties of the phrase in the text. Try to use the keyphrase as early as possible in the text, you can even emphasize the phrase once. But don’t make the text keyword stuffed and remember that you are writing the content for humans, not for search engines.

4. If you are using an image/ images in the page, optimize them for the keyphrase using image alt -tag.

5. Even though search engines don’t really care about meta descriptions, I would anyway optimize them by making them selling, that potential customers want to come to your site. Meta description and title are the ones that are showing in Google’s (and other search engines’) search results.

6. Make sure that there are some internal links pointing to the brunch-page, preferably optimized links and links that can be followed by search engine spiders.

7. After all the onsite optimization work is good to do some link building for the site as well!

Need help with this? Just contact us!