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  • 1 Post By Daisy

Thread: Google Page Layout Update

  1. #1
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    Google Page Layout Update

    Another SE Land article on the page layout update Google just rolled out.

    … we’ve heard complaints from users that if they click on a result and it’s difficult to find the actual content, they aren’t happy with the experience. Rather than scrolling down the page past a slew of ads, users want to see content right away. So sites that don’t have much content “above-the-fold” can be affected by this change. If you click on a website and the part of the website you see first either doesn’t have a lot of visible content above-the-fold or dedicates a large fraction of the site’s initial screen real estate to ads, that’s not a very good user experience. Such sites may not rank as highly going forward.
    Has anyone seen active evidence of this? Is it just ads or seriously hitting anything that doesn't have content above the fold. What does their crawler do, go through the CSS file and calculate the height of each div until it hits a block of content? Seriously. There are a lot of business sites that have images or video above the fold and the text doesn't display until further down.

    How can they even tell that by algorithm? By bounce rate?

  2. #2
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    This isn't new - it originally rolled out in January. See

    Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Page layout algorithm improvement

    The good news is that it's a dynamic algo, so if you make improvements you benefit after re-crawl:

    If you decide to update your page layout, the page layout algorithm will automatically reflect the changes as we re-crawl and process enough pages from your site to assess the changes. How long that takes will depend on several factors, including the number of pages on your site and how efficiently Googlebot can crawl the content. On a typical website, it can take several weeks for Googlebot to crawl and process enough pages to reflect layout changes on the site.
    As for how they do it - It might be related to those snapshots they have in the SERPs when you hold your mouse over the cache arrow. If they have their browser settings the exact same for each snap, then simple for them to work out using heatmaps where everything is.

    Given that it's a dynamic algo, they must have changed some of the parameters this time - and the tweet from Cutts says 0.7% of SERPs affected, which is bigger than the EMD thing.

    Twitter / mattcutts: Minor weather report: Update ...
    Last edited by Daisy; 10-09-2012 at 03:03 PM.

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    cma01 (10-09-2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by cma01 View Post
    What does their crawler do, go through the CSS file and calculate the height of each div until it hits a block of content?
    I'm pretty sure it's much more complex. Have a look here The Google Panda Patent? - SEO by the Sea (awesome guy btw, his blog is pure gold although it takes a lot of time and effort to understand only a fraction). Distinguishing ads from an image based header or similar is certianly not too hard. You have a target URL, you have the image itself, you can check if the image is unique Patent US20070239756 - Detecting Duplicate Images Using Hash Code Grouping - Google Patents Even if the image is not linked and unique, you can identify certain typical elements of ads in the image itself.

    I doubt it's all about text above the fold, it's more about spammy patterns, let's take those Adsense Xfactor themes that were really popular some time ago. They all have the same layout, certain page elements are always arranged in the same way, easy to detect on sight. Like the name "page layout algorithm" indicates, it's the overall impression.
    Last edited by StarkReality; 10-09-2012 at 06:30 PM.

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    For those interested, I found a site that got dinged by the page-layout algo on Oct 10th, when I was checking out someone's backlinks:

    Here's what their quantified quantcast stats say:



    See the plunge at the right of the graph

    And here's an example of a page on their site:

    Amy Winehouse Was Bound To Die Young

    On my browser it's got three ad blocks above the fold.
    Last edited by Daisy; 10-14-2012 at 07:38 AM. Reason: corrected spelling
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    GODOVERYOU (10-15-2012)

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    I don't see any ads right now...Maybe they took action to fix it?

  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by audioman1 View Post
    I don't see any ads right now...Maybe they took action to fix it?
    I definitely have 3 ads on a smaller display.
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    This update was one of the worst.

    After getting message to the GWT, they deindexed my domain as well.

    Was ranking straightaway #1 for few months..

    Thumbrule - Always put content above the fold area.

 

 

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