Back in January this year Google announced a change to the way it analyzes websites and how they place them within their search results. The new algorithm places emphasis on content which is “above the fold”. What this means is that Google is looking more at the content a reader sees without having to scroll down the page.
This was the initial launch of the new algorithm; however, on October 10, 2012 Google re-launched the page layout algorithm, thus affecting many more sites.
So, what exactly does all this mean?
It means that many webmasters were caught off guard, and haven’t redesigned their web pages. Many webmasters have images, ads, and other things towards the top of their pages. It’s the ads that are going to present a problem, because many ad providers demand that their ads are displayed “above the fold”. Now, if Google is demanding that important text is placed “above the fold” webmasters are really going to think about how they are going to redesign things to make everyone happy.
The biggest issue is that everything happened so quickly without much warning from Google. It seems Google has a habit of doing things quickly and not giving much of a warning to the community of people who create, own or otherwise manage websites. This is evident with their other update of Panda.
How do you recover?
If you are a webmaster who feels that your site or sites have been affected by this new Google update, you may have heard that it can be tricky to recover. Some experts suggest that you can recover. Once you redesign your webpages using the “above the fold” method, you can ask Google to re-crawl your pages, and they will be able to pick up the differences, and make for a speedier recovery. This isn’t the best either, as it depends on how many pages is contained within your website. It can take weeks for Google to crawl and process the pages of a large website.
Has this latest Google algorithm update had an impact on your ranking? Feel free to share your thoughts below.