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Page Layout Google Algorithm – All You Need to Know Before Redesigning Your Website

Page Layout Google Algorithm – All You Need to Know Before Redesigning Your Website

Updates are important! Search engines like Google send updates after a certain period to make things better and functional. Those who don’t follow and don’t upgrade their system can face problems in further functioning.

Today, we will be talking about the Google algorithm update related to page layout. The following post will tell you all the information you need to know:

1-What was this Update?

The upgrade regarding the better user experience and SEO on page was premature when 2011 Panda updates roll out. On 19 January, 2012 official page layout algorithm update comes in.

This update targeted those websites having multiple static advertisements above the fold. Due to these ads, users were forced to scroll down to see the desired content. This was creating a hurdle in term of user experience and affected the overall design of a website due to multiple ads. If you are looking to redesign your website, then you can contact TopNotch skilled website designers to get services of website redesign Boston.

According to Google only 1% of the websites were affected by this update. The affected websites were forced to redesign their site to create a better user experience. Pop-ups and overlay ads were not included in this update.

2-The Timeline of the Update (Page Layout/Above the Fold Algorithm Update)

Following are the details of the timeline according to which the algorithm has changed:

Launched-19 January 2012:

On this date, Google introduces the update. It was also known as “Top Heavy” or above the fold algorithm update. This impacted the websites that shows too many ads.

Update- October 9, 2012:

The head of Google webspam team, Matt Cutts mentioned on Twitter that page layout algorithm has been updated. According to this change 0.7% of the English queries were affected. In addition, it  helped the affected website to recover from the first Google algorithm update.

The head of Google webspam team, Matt Cutts mentioned on Twitter that page layout algorithm has been updated. According to this change 0.7% of the English queries were affected. In addition, it  helped the affected website to recover from the first Google algorithm update.

The head of Google webspam team, Matt Cutts mentioned on Twitter that page layout algorithm has been updated. According to this change 0.7% of the English queries were affected. In addition, it  helped the affected website to recover from the first Google algorithm update.

Page Layout Algorithm Refresh- February 6, 2014:

On this date the update was refreshed. Matt Cutts did not explain about the impact it will have on search results of websites. But as it was a refresh so, Google would have rerun the algorithm and updated its index.

Automated Algorithm-November 1, 2016:

John Mueller of Google commented:

That’s pretty much automatic in the sense that it’s probably not live, one-to-one. We just would recalled this, therefore, we know exactly what it looks like. But it is something that’s updated automatically. And it is something where when you change those pages, you don’t have to wait for any manual update on our side for that to be taken into account

This comment clears up the fog that Google will pick up on changes and will rank the website automatically after crawling your website. Furthermore, Google’s Gary lllyes also confirmed that this update is a still a big deal in March 2017.

3-Websites Affected by the Update

There were four updates to page layout algorithm but this only affected 1% of the websites. The changes only affected those websites that had too much ads and made it difficult for the user to get the required content. Same was explained by Matt Cutts. Being a website owner, you need to organize the ads to avoid penalty.

Some member of WebmasterWordForum witness the impact. They shared the image of their 40% traffic decline after the update of February 7, 2012. According to another member, they took 2 years to recover from this update.

It’s a fact, no one wants to visit a website full with ads as they will not be able to get the desired content. Companies must devise a proper spot to place ads. On a popular website it should be below the fold and place banner ads on low-traffic site.

The website owners, ads, and viewer were benefited by this update.

4-Recovery from The Update

What if you have redesigned your website and have written the content? And after one month you suffer a penalty due to a Google algorithm update. It’s a difficult situation.

What will you do if you are in that 1% of the people affected with the update? Recover your website by doing the following things:

  • First, above-the-fold area is dependent on the screen resolution used by the audience. A user on mobile phone will see a different above-the-fold space as compared to laptop user.
  • Before removing the ads, use Screen Resolution Test Chrome extension. Furthermore, you can also use other tools like Fold Tester to test layout visually on the desktop.

To give you a better idea about the layout, Google also provide an image to display regarding above-the-fold area. If you do not get a penalty due to many ads then your website might not have crawled by Googlebot. One more thing, Google makes updates in real-time, so now you don’t have to wait longer for the next algorithm refresh.

5-Impact of the Update

Due to this update, some owners might have to do website revamp repeatedly. This was harsh, but made one thing clear: for Google, user experience is on top.

Removing ads above the fold should not include reduction in revenue. If we look deeper this was a foundation laid for mobile-only index. Google instructed to review ads on all screen resolution including mobile. In a smaller screen resolution, the  user needs to scroll down five to six times to view the content – as compared to a larger screen resolution such as in desktop.

Removing these ads above the fold will offer a better experience for user both in mobile and desktop.  One truth about this update is it was for users not for the webmaster. It will make the website owner choosy about the advertisements and will pay off in a longer run. The post updates of page algorithm focus on the balance between ads and content. Those who follow this will surely win.

Now, we are familiar with the fine line that exist between user engagement and profitability. The updates were made many years ago but the learning outcomes and solution of the problems are still relevant today!

Hope that now, you would have got all your questions answered about the page layout algorithm. Worry about web redesign process? Contact professionals of TopNotch to get the website redesigning from skilled designers.

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