The constant updates by Google need to be kept abreast of, and when it comes to notification of algorithm updates there are many pitfalls that you can be faced with.
For instance a high number of people were caught out with the mysterious Fred Update, another such update was released in 2012 and was the update of the page layout and the above the fold movement algorithm.
But what was this update all about? And how does it impact your site today?
The Google Page Layout Algorithm
In the wake of the Panda updates of 2011, the Google Page Layout Algorithm was driven by high-quality user experience demand together with more sophisticated SEO techniques.
The algorithm targeted certain sites that contained too many advertisements that were static, and above the fold. This forced users to have to scroll down to see any content, which of course was totally against user experience.
It was estimated by Google that this algorithm would only affect a miniscule percentage of websites, but theses sites were forced to do something about it.
The algorithm has changed over time and these were the updates:
- Jan 19th 2012 – Page Layout algorithm launched, this update was nicknamed top heavy, indicating the problem with the above the fold situation.
- Oct 9th 2012 – Page Layout update.
- Feb 6th 2014 – Page Layout refresh – more of a reran than a refresh.
- Nov 1st 2016 – Automated Algorithm – Google’s algorithm would automatically pick up changes on your site and adjust rankings automatically.
Websites That Were Affected
The four updates of the algorithm pointed to the fact that this was a significant change to page layouts, but the fact only 1% of sites were affected seems to suggest otherwise.
The truth was the algorithm only affected sites that had too many advertisements, and user experience was poor anyway. It was a pointer to these sites to have a look at their web design and rethink its structure.
Some of these sites had very negative things to say about the algorithm, stating that their sites had a massive drop in traffic and lost a significant amount of business which took years to recoup.
But perhaps closer to the truth is that there was a lack of traffic due to poor user experience due to top heavy advertising. And the algorithm was good for the vast majority of websites, their owners and most importantly the viewers.
Page Layout Recovery
Why do Google updates throw us all in a tailspin, and previous SEO strategies are suddenly thrown out of the proverbial window. Some of its is due to media hype, and the hysteria that follows.
I suppose it is glib to say that it only affect a minute percentage of sites around the world, especially if one happened to be your own. Let’s perhaps look at some of the issues,
The above-the-fold issues really depends on what type of screen resolution that the viewers are watching on. For example somebody using a mobile device would see a different space than say a laptop computer. So good advice is first to use the Screen Resolution Tester Chrome extension before making any permanent alterations.
Final Impacts of the Page Layout
Dealing with any of Google’s updates to say the least is daunting, and considerations of redesigning your website again and again a horrible thought. But Google insists the updates are used for improvement of user experience.
The real truth behind the matter was that Google enforced their page layout algorithm for the user not the owner of the site. And it might make site owners look at the amount and quality of adverts they display.
If you want any advice whatsoever on the page layout algorithm or any other of Google’s updates it is worth contacting a professional digital marketing company such as Voova Digital. They have specialists that can help explain and implement such updates on your website design and all your other SEO problems.