Google begins to penalise sites with little content “above the fold”

January 20, 2012

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Content is immediately visible by 90% of our readers

Content is immediately visible by 90% of our readers

Google Search has announced an algorithmic change that now considers page layout an influence of page rank. More specifically, sites with little content “above the fold” – the area of a website that is immediately visible without scrolling – may not rank as highly from today onwards.

Sites that don’t have a lot of visible content above the fold, or sites that show advertisements to an “excessive degree” on initial screen real estate pushing content further down the page could be detrimentally affected in Google Search.

This latest algorithm “tweak” is one of hundreds expected to roll-out later this year. It awards sites that provide a good user experience to visitors, with easy to find and proportionally presented content in relation to essential ad blocks.

Google has played-down the significance of this update, stating that it affects “less than 1%” of all searches globally.

This convenient Browser Size tool from Google allows webmaster to see how their websites appear under different screen resolutions and page fold lines.

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Darren McCarra

Darren McCarra is co-editor of The Sociable. He has a keen interest in photography, all things mobile, and writing about technology and social media. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

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