How Your 'Above the Fold' Can Affect Your Rankings
In the world of online business, there are so many changes, updates and algorithm tweaks that keep us on our toes.
Well, Google has recently release something called the Top Heavy algorithm in which lowers the SERP rankings for websites that have too many ads at the top or if the ads are deemed too distracting for users.
This means if you have any ads, images, banners and possible opt-ins your site could be affected.
What is Above the Fold?
When you look at a website, everything you see on the site BEFORE you scroll down is considered 'above the fold'. This will be different for each person because it depends on the persons screen size, browser setting and zoom level.
- If you don't have any banner ads on your site then you have nothing to worry about.
- If you have one ad on your site but it is below the fold (have to scroll down), then you have nothing to worry about.
- If you have one or more ads on your site and it is above the fold, then I would recommend you either remove it all together or move it down so it is below the fold.
How to Test Your Website
Google has a dandy little tool called Browser Size where you can enter your URL and have a look what people see which various browser sizes and settings.
Simply add your URL at the top and press go to have your site shown.
What Google Said
Here is the content that was posted about this update, I have underlined what I feel is important:
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.
We understand that placing ads above-the-fold is quite common for many websites; these ads often perform well and help publishers monetize online content. This algorithmic change does not affect sites who place ads above-the-fold to a normal degree, but affects sites that go much further to load the top of the page with ads to an excessive degree or that make it hard to find the actual original content on the page. 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.
Has your site been affected? Let me know in the comments below.