SEO Warning – Have Too Many Ads? Get Downgraded by Google

Too Many Ads Leads To Loss of RankIf my website has too many ads, will it get downgraded by Google? If you have to ask, I think we all know the answer. Remember, like in any algorithm update, Google will always make changes to bring the best and most relevant answers to their searches. So if your website is full of ads, don’t be surprised if Google does not want to show your website in their results.

Webmasters rely on advertising to bring in income and pay the bills. This is a known fact of life in the online world and it is generally accepted among website visitors as well (most website if visit on a daily basis are ad supported). While advertising is common, Google has recently made changes to its algorithm that could negatively impact website rankings with too much advertising on their sites.

Are you worried your site is in Google’s cross hairs? Give me a call, I am available for a search engine optimization consultation.

Too Much Advertising

According to Google, websites with a large amount of advertising above-the-fold could be penalized by Google. This means that if you have too many ads on the upper portion of your pages, your site could go down in the Google rankings. Does this mean that having some ads on the top of your page will automatically move you down in the rankings? Not necessarily. Google says that this will affect less than 1% of sites on the Web.

If my website has too many ads, will it get downgraded by Google? If you have to ask, I think we all know the answer.

Who Will Be Affected

Since only a small number of sites will be affected by this change, the majority of website owners can keep doing what they’re already doing. Those who are most likely to be affected by this are those who have an abundance of ads at the top of the page, and you know who you are. When it is difficult to find any original content on the page, this reflects negatively on the site and the user experience.

For example, when you see multiple pop-up ads and banner ads on the top of the page, this could cause a site to be downgraded in the eyes of Google. If the top of the page is all advertising and it doesn’t have any content until you scroll down, this is a negative for the user. This is considered spam and can hurt your site in the Google search engine rankings.

Factors That Are Unknown

Although the basic idea behind this policy is simple enough, the specifics are held by Google. Webmasters can’t really be sure of several factors in this regard.

• What is too many ads? This is a pretty vague area that webmasters can get confused on.
• What is considered above-the-fold? The fold is different for various monitors and for different browsers.
• How much does it negatively impact you in the rankings?

Can I Fool Google with CSS Design?

Although this change has the potential to impact site owners, it may not be as big of a deal as some are making it out to be. In some cases, you may be able to get around this issue with CSS design elements. For example, you could put all of your advertisements towards the bottom of the page and then use CSS design elements to display the ads up towards the top of the page. Because of this, Google will not be able to see where your ads are being displayed unless they manually check the site. This lowers the likelihood that your site will be downgraded in any way due to where the ads are placed on the page. On the other hand, Google has proven itself to be sharp when catching such cheats. If they don’t find you out now, they will and you will most likely pay… just ask scrapers.

This is pretty simple, if you are worried that you have too many ads, read what Google has to say http://insidesearch.blogspot.com/2012/01/page-layout-algorithm-improvement.html. If you see a drop in rankings, I would stop wondering and start eliminating ads from above the fold.

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Sandy Halliday
10 years ago

I just came across your interesting article while researching information for a blog post I was just about to write.

I had a free consultation with a social media expert recenlty and she advised me to remove some of the Google ads from my blog so that 3/4 of the width was my own content if I wanted to be taken seriously as an expert in my niche. ( I sell an eBook)

Last summer I changed my theme to heat map and put a large Google ad on the left side of my blog above my optin form. I also had Google ads on the right of my posts which meant that 3/4 of the page above the fold was ads.

Although my Adsense income doubled my traffic did reduce and my bounce rate was higher as visitors clicked on the ads and away from my site.

It pays to weigh up all the pros and cons and decide what you really want from your blog.

jason
10 years ago

Sandy,

Thanks for the comment. You are right, you have to find the balance that works for you. When making these changes to your site, remember to track any ranking changes, see if Google even cares.

With most Google updates, it is the websites that are extreme that will be in trouble.

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