Google has become mean concerning web sites and display advertising. If the advertising on your web page pushes the content down below the fold, then your site may receive a ding in the search rankings.
Why do I say “mean?” One poorly designed page could affect your whole site, not just that one page. If you’ve recently suffered a serious drop in search rankings, check your pages for advertising, have you overdone it?
There is a logic to Google’s approach. Google wants to present searchers with the best content. If a web page has more ads than content, and if a user has to scroll down below the fold to find that content, then, in Google’s humble opinion, that page is not quality. Furthermore, if that page is not quality, then neither are any of the other pages on that site. What isn’t clear is whether or not your own display advertising has the same effect – logically, it would since the emphasis now is content and having it readily available to users.
If you do have a lot of advertising on your pages, there are a number of approaches you can take. These include:
- reducing the number of ads,
- redesigning your web page so that content appears above the fold,
- using sidebars for display advertising,
- ensuring ads are relevant to the pages’ content.
Google is not anti-advertising. In fact, Google does encourage website owners to include Adsense ad units on their sites although they do suggest you follow their guidelines when it comes to quantity and placement. The rules related to SEO are constantly changing and so it always pays to stay on top of the latest news.