This caught my attention. Google May Penalize Your Site for Having Too Many Ads published in SearchEngineWatch states

Google is looking at penalizing ad heavy sites that make it difficult for people to find good content on web pages, Matt Cutts, head of Google’s web spam team, said yesterday at PubCon during his keynote session.

The key point Google appears to want to make is that anything that prevents people from reading content concerns them. The article goes on to say,

Google has been updating its algorithms over the past couple months in their different Panda updates. After looking at the various sites Panda penalized during the initial rollout, one of the working theories became that Google was dropping the rankings of sites with too many ads “above the fold.”

This is an odd stance, considering Google AdSense Help essentially tells website publishers to place ads above the fold by noting, “All other things being equal, ads located above the fold tend to perform better than those below the fold.”

There’s nothing wrong with following Google’s suggestion above. All you need to do is put the ads in a left or right sidebar and start their appearance above the page fold. The most likely human response is to focus on the important content and tasks that are also placed above the page fold and ignore the ads anyway.

My guess is that Matt Cutts was warning about the types of pages where banner ads, text ads, adsense ads and animated ads are presented in what a “in your face” type of method. We see these kinds of web pages often. There is a brief article or blog post of about 3 full paragraphs with ads of all kinds and sizes placed above, below, and on each side.

When I see someone trying to promote a page such as this, I wish I had a paint gun and could splatter gobs of colored paint all over their revenue greedy, unreadable, mind blowing self centered page. I won’t “like” it, Tweet it, recommend it or if submitted to a forum or group, will not approve it. I’m really strict about this. I’m all about the people and presenting credible, pleasant material.

I would like to see Google jump on pages that display a survey on arrival for the first time to a page or site. Typically these surveys cover up the content and to be able to read I’m forced to click it away. The same thing for ads that slide over the content or drop down from the top and hang there until you make the effort to get rid of it so you can read the content it’s covering.

You Had Me At the Search Engines
Blended Usability and SEO Practices a Hit

cre8pc

Kim Krause Berg’s long background in web design, SEO and usability includes software application functional and user interface testing, accessibility, information architecture and persuasive design. She shared her passion for Usability and SEO through her site and private consulting at Cre8pc for 17 years. Kim founded Cre8asiteforums in 1998. In the fall of 2012 she sold her forums to Internet Marketing Ninjas and retired from private consulting to join their Executive Management team where she continues her work in usability testing, customer experience and conversions design.

My Online Course: Web Site Usability 101

Member:

American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)

Information Architecture Institute

Usability Professionals Association (UPA)

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