Advertisements are what keeps many of the sites going on the Internet, including the site you are currently reading. As a user, I do understand that too many ads, or ads in the wrong position, or ads that are highly distracting, reduce the user experience. While I rarely stumble upon sites anymore that have their pages plastered with ads so that it becomes difficulty to find the regular content, I have to say that I welcome the change that Google just announced.
The company basically stated that an algorithmic change was launched that analyzes the ad to content ratio above the fold. Sites that do not have much content above the fold can be affected by this change, according to Google. What does affected mean exactly? They are pushed down in the search results in favor of sites that have a better user experience.
Sites that display ads to a normal degree are not affected by the change.
I personally have two issues with the announcement.
Google did not provide information about the parameters that they look at. What's missing?
This leaves webmasters again with the nagging feeling that they may be affected by the change, even though they are likely not.
The second aspect weights more heavily in my eyes. Take a look at the following screenshot and let me know if you would consider this a bad ad to content ratio on the page.
Please note that this screenshot shows a 1000 to 800 resolution, and that your experience may differ depending on a number of factors.
And now read Matt Cutts' announcement again:
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
Is Matt saying that Google Search is not offering a good user experience? I think he does. Lets discuss in the comments.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.