Does a large Title or Header negatively impact the 'Above the Fold'?

Last Update: June 18, 2017

Another senior WA member brought o my attention the fact that Google has 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."

Recently I designed an image on (you can design cool stuff for free!) for my niche website, specifically, it was a header with the title of my site. (with images behind the letters). Originally I made it quite large, and it was all you saw on my homepage unless you scrolled down to see the content.

Someone let me know that I may be negatively affecting the "above the fold content", and gave me a link with the following information:

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 person's screen size, browser setting, and zoom level.

In the end, I did set the size of my image a bit smaller but the question I want to bring up for discussion is DOES AN IMAGE or ANY OTHER DESIGN/TITLE/HEADER affect the algorithm negatively. My understanding from reading the information page from another WA member above is that it negatively affects your site IF IT IS ADS above the fold.

I want to start a discussion about this because what I'm seeing trending right now are LARGE images and headers on many sites. (I am one of those that really like the look of a nice large image up top. even if it takes up half the screen sometimes). So are large headers/ title/images up top affect the algorithm if they are not ads just a pretty/cool header?

Interested to hear from all of you on this topic!

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OrgainITGuy Premium
i think now days if it looks like an over sized image for mobile, it may have some effect, otherwise google loves content, and images are just that.
things to be concerned about overdoing are keywords,subheading tags and links but be sure to use all three for you on page optimization lol
GlenPalo Premium
I hope not because I use big images!
otikoroASH Premium
Haha me too! Thats my concern
pparadise Premium
It is a certain balance and two to three on your side bar is ok.
digitalwisdo Premium
I had kinda the same situation. I decided to remove my logo from my site. Would like to know if ads are negatively affecting my site too.
JamesJB Premium
A visitor may be put off being faced with a large picture, especially if the picture takes long to load. People might bounce off the page before the picture loads.