Google has long been one of the most dominant names in the worldwide web; anything this giant does, from the seemingly insignificant to the groundbreaking, will always start a chain reaction and its after-effects be felt everywhere the internet is available, whether it is for companies doing web design in Reading, Pa or random online browsing in Oslo, Norway.
Matt Cutts of Google has released major news regarding Google’s above-the-fold algorithm update: as of the third week of January, 2012, Google has initiated an algorithm change that checks the amount of content and ads “above-the-fold” on a website. According to Cutts’ statement, sites that have gone overboard with ads and are deemed lacking in content will be penalized but on the upside, only 1% of websites will actually be adversely affected. He said that this is in response to heavy complaints from users who expect quality content upon clicking on a website, but instead are bombarded with ads and have to navigate through a tangle of these before finally reaching the content they initially searched for. In an effort to make user experiences better and more efficient, Google seeks to minimize the volume of such intrusive ads.
Ifultech, a Reading Pa web design firm, gets the idea of “above-the-fold” from the printed newspaper that refers to the top half of the page. According to studies, it is this portion that first draws a reader’s eye and holds attention, therefore it is here where the biggest headlines, the splashiest photos and in the case of websites, the most explosive ads are put in order to maximize readership or online time.
This new information from Google has left mixed reactions from both sides of the web. In lay-out and web design, specialists and web owners have long relied on above-the-fold advertising to bring in more web traffic and as an effect, thoroughly cash in on their established sites. Though Cutts has said that only 1% will be affected, a lot of website owners and those in SEO have expressed concern that their rankings and ratings have dropped significantly since Google imposed the aforementioned algorithm. In addition, owners and experts have stated their annoyance at the lack of quantifiable standards regarding what Google considers “too many ads or too much ad space,” if there is a specific resolution that determines where the above-the-fold mark really is, how Google intends to determine which are ads and which ad networks are being targeted.
On the other hand, this news is heralded with a breath of relief from online users. In various reactions to posts related to Google’s algorithm change, users say that it would be good not to be forced to see dozens of ads upon immediately opening a website and it would make the browsing experience yield more satisfactory results in less time. Cutts has additionally cleared the issue on “too much ads” by explaining that the algorithm looks at ad space and how it is utilized, not the number of ads.
In light of this, our SEO specialists are now encouraged to make certain their work is not just customer-centered but user-friendly as well in order to avoid whatever penalties over stuffing websites with ads might entail. In the end, it’s the millions of online users that matter.