Google’s Top-Heavy Algorithm Change
When we rebuilt author and speaker Lela Davidson’s website, we basically put everything above the fold. Even on a small monitor, you can see the whole homepage on a single screen.
This isn’t always possible. There are plenty of reasons to have a longer page, and you can easily make sure that the essentials are above the fold.
And yet we continue to see websites where all the interesting stuff is below the fold. We’re talking right now with a company which has products and services and awards and all kinds of stuff on their homepage — below the fold. Above the fold there’s only a logo and a link to request a brochure. We’re betting they don’t feel satisfied with their conversion rate.
But now, it’s not only conversion rate that’s affected. Google has updated the search algorithm to penalize sites that have lots of ads above the fold, and to reward sites that have strong content first thing.
Personally, I hate having to scroll through ads to read content — and in fact I usually don’t. I just click away. Apparently, there are enough people who feel the way I do that Google doesn’t want to show people pages like that any more. Remember, Google works for searchers. If their search results are irritating, searchers might consider using other search engines. That’s not what Google wants.
If you have a well-designed website with plenty of good content above the fold, this update won’t affect you. If not, it’s time to rethink your design. Sign up for our newsletter (simple form at right) to learn more about how design can affect SEO — that’s our topic this month, and we’ll be sending it out this week.