After making a few major updates to their algorithm in the past couple of weeks, Google announced again that they have made another update. This update is being referred to as "Top Heavy 2" and pertains to web page layout criteria. This update is expected to only impact a minimal amount of sites, but the reason for the update is to assign a lower rank to sites that are heavy with paid advertisements along the top tier of the each page. To rationalize, Google says that users want to see content related directly to their search as soon as they enter a website. This algorithm change will negatively impact those sites with a cluster of advertisements along the top portion of the site. The question now becomes: how much is too much?
The original update was ran back in January of 2012. Many webmasters, however, are reporting that they have been seeing more ranking changes related to this update between now and then which leads some people to think that there have been other updates since. Another issue is that with all of the recent changes that Google has made in recent weeks, some SEOs are complaining that they are all happening too close together (almost on top of each other) making it more difficult to keep websites current to algorithm guidelines.
As I see it, the only reason to place an enormous amount of ads on your page is to maximize potential revenue. It DOES mean that the user will have to scroll in order to find the relevant content within that particular site so I applaud Google on this change if it heightens the user's search experience.
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Author: Michael Palmer