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Google Algorithm update announced – take action now

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Google have been working hard to improve the quality of the websites taking precedence in their search results and announced another change to their algorithms yesterday.

From the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog 19/01/2012

In our ongoing effort to help you find more high-quality websites in search results, today we’re launching an algorithmic change that looks at the layout of a webpage and the amount of content you see on the page once you click on a result.

Anyone paying attention to the Google Panda changes of 2011 should have already been looking at the amount of advertising they have above the fold of their pages, but if you didn’t alter anything back then, thinking you were unaffected, then you need to check again.

Google’s main focus is user experience and users do not visit websites simply to click on ads, they are seeking content that will interest them or is useful to them.

Google are very clear in their statement, if ads above the fold are not excessive, then this is acceptable and the website should be unaffected by the algorithm change.  However, if the amount of advertising above the fold is deemed excessive by Google then you will more than likely notice your rankings slide.   If your website relies on income from advertising then we highly recommend that you take action now to avoid losing search engine positions.

How do you know what is excessive?  Look at first impressions of your website pages from a user perspective as much as possible and think whether your ad positions could be improved.  Closely monitor your positions in Google and keep a record of any changes you make and when you made them.  As long as you carefully monitor your positions and the changes you make, you should be able to ascertain what works and apply this across more of your pages.

Please contact us for further advice on search engine optimisation and increasing sales conversions.

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