Above the Fold Content Issue – Can be a Reason For Google Panda Impact

I want to share an article I read recently. Its all about Google Panda, new search algorithm changes and future updates in 2012. “Google Panda” is the famous one than ‘Kung Fu Panda’ movie..LOL. Most of the bloggers already felt the impact and others are preparing to prevent it in their blogs.  No one knows the exact factors that Google is considering while updating their search result pages.

One thing is sure, Google is taking more concern on user (reader) experience. They want to make sure their search results are perfect and what users are looking for. Also the search result is changing according to the destination blog page’s performance for best user experience.

The article I read was talking about ‘Above the fold content’ issue with Google panda impact. Google is testing this factor with their each algorithm changes. So, if your blog posts are having more ads above the fold and people can’t see the content in ‘above the fold’ area, then you must think about this now.

You must be knowing ezinearticles, the free article directory website which was affected highly by Google panda updates. It lost around 50% to 60% search engine traffic. More ads on above the fold could be one of the reason for the impact.

(This is how it appears in my monitor)

more ads

Other interesting factor I found in the article is that current internet users world in moving towards portable devices, such as smart phones, tablet PCs, latest internet browsing gadgets, iPad and Galaxy…etc. These devices do not support higher screen size as normal PCs.

So, when a visitor reach your website by these devices, if you fill up more ads in above the fold area then definitely they will be seeing only the blog header and ads NOT the content what they wanted. This is what Google doesn’t want from your blog!!!!

I highly recommend to read the original article here.

And one more What Matt Cutts and Amit Singhal talked about new changes in Google Pubcon Q&A: 24 Takeaways


Heavy Pages with More Ads Could Be another Problem.

OK, you realized the above the fold content issue and moved your most of the ads to below the fold, but that is not enough for Google. If your blog pages are filled up with plenty of ads (no matter below or above fold) then Google will treat them as heavy ad pages. Because, obviously these pages will have so many ad codes, scripts and DNS requests. This may irritate the reader by waiting till load all elements in page.

I’m sure by these changes Google adsense will get some affect too. If all publishers consider this issue and reduce the adsense ads or move them below the fold (at the same time Adsense optimization tips say to place the ads above the fold…), then definitely it will effect the CTR and conversation rate also to publishers and advertisers.

Read this article Google May Penalize Ad Heavy Pages


I’m thinking to do some adjustments in my tech blog according to these suggestions. Of course we need to make more money and maximize the revenue, but doing something against Google and losing their traffic is really painful.

I need to know your thoughts and how you will tackle this in your blog?

  • I’ve also mentioned the issue in a recent post. It would be better to make the adjustment as we all know that it really can affect SEO. When people see our website with aggressive ad placements, they can leave our site immediately and never come back. Therefore, it would lead to high bounce rate and low time on site which can affect directly our ranking on search engines. It’d be better to place at most 1 ad above the fold and 1-2 ads below.

  • Thank you for sharing this information. Now I know that heavily ad page can be penalized by Google. Thank you for sharing the information you learn and hope to learn more.

    • Click bombing could be a real issue. I have taken few steps to prevent it and I think its better not to tell publicly.
      I think monitoring your adsense account very regularly will help to face these types of issues, also Google is smart enough to find out and save their publishers.
      The main thing is, do not click your own ads.

  • I don’t know whether Google is all evil but while the Big says that “we” should not use “aggressive” Monetizations yet just search for Google for anything that’s quite popular and has a “value” (make money online for instance) then big G and her ads are all over the place (including above the fold).

    Oh well, as they say, “when you’re at the top… the only way is down”.

    But I do agree with you Dinesh, I should “listen” to Google until I build something that’s beyond their control (hopefully :/). Thanks for the post, excellent stuff as always! lol.

  • Hi Dinesh, you and the article you referred here say that the new panda algorithm is in the testing phase right now and could be live by 2012. But on the other hand you said that ezinearticles has already lost 50% of their visitors due to this? Had they experiment their test on ezinearticles 🙂 or I am missing something in the article? However, I have already changed the ‘Above the fold’ section of my website as a precautionary step but recently I have observed a sudden 20% loss in my website’s traffic. Am I already affected with this algorithm update?

    It’s a sigh of relief for me that I have subscribed my email for the updates from your site and now you see that I am well aware of the upcoming move of monster panda.

    If you remember me, I have commented on your blog for increasing the CPC. Just for the update, that time I had around 800 visitors on my website (around 2 month ago) and now it is around 2300 regularly. I didn’t spend a dime on SEO till now, my motive to genuinely help people is my SEO.

    I also remember that you said in some of your recent blog that you had a fall in your Adsense earning. I have some feedback that I observed recently for your blogs. But as a professional blogger, I don’t feel it’s a good idea to speak publicly.

    • Thanks for the comment.
      I referred the same thing about ezinearticles affect as guessed by

      Yes, Google may test this (above fold and heavy ad pages) before announce officially, ezinearticles could be one of the victim. The reason for 20% drop in your traffic could be due to some other reasons, but I’m sure it could be Google Panda or latest Google ‘Fresh Content’ algorithm change.

      I see the fall in my tech blog traffic too. Its good to know the increase in traffic without SEO consideration, but if you consider more and full fill most the SEO requirements, that will help you to get more search engine traffic.

      I’m always happy to hear your feedback publicly or personally, because still I’m a learner. I don’t say or think that I’m doing everything correctly.
      Good luck.

  • What a brilliant post. You should do a series! :)I did a sort of blogging for dummies over
    on one of the craft forums and I thought it was too simple for them, but the amount of
    emails I got asking questions just like what you addressed was unbelievable. As young
    people today we have grown up with computers, but it’s easy to forget that even people
    just a few years older have not! Really good post! 🙂

  • Its so stupid on Google’s part to penalize websites based on above fold ads. Look at Google search results itself, you will find ads which are pushing down actual results and showing ads at top. So better they start charity from Home and stop attaching those ads in results.

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