We are all aware that Google cares about “The User Experience”. If you don’t know and you own a website, then you should know that Google search is all about giving the user what they are searching for, presented with good content and a good user experience.
Well yesterday, Google announced a change to the algorithm that returns the search results. Basically what they are after is that the user is presented with good quality, solid content and not hit with a multitude of adverts before they get to the content. What a lot of sites have been doing recently is presenting ads above the fold to the user when they land on the webpage and the user is then forced to scroll down below the fold in order to get to the content that was displayed in the search.
What this in effect does is irritate the users who have come to your page and ultimately this will be reflected back to Google who will get really annoyed and your site will then find itself penalised by the new algorithm. What Matt Cutts from Google says is that having a normal amount of ads on your site above the fold will not get you any penalties but bombarding users with ads will!
It was also stated that the algorithmic change will only affect about 1% of searches, which you think in the scheme of things is tiny, so why bother making any changes? Well, if you think that there are billions of searches performed every day, only a 1% change will be huge, so you ignore this at your own peril!
Lets be clear here, Google want you to succeed, but they do not want you to succeed at the cost of the user experience which is of paramount importance. You can have ads on your site, just do not overdo it! Provide good quality content which improves the user experience, brings you repeat traffic and you will not have to worry about the changes.
I have read on quite a few places on the web that people have been expecting another change and it was only a matter of time. People are sick and tired of being held hostage by the big “G”. To be honest, this was a similar situation with adwords a while back, everybody got penalised. The next shiny new toy came around in the shape of Facebook advertising and people moved on. With SEO it has always been about providing content and good content to the users who visit your site.
Why would you want to trick someone in to purchasing or signing up to your list, what value does that add and what long term viability does that give you, none. Provide the good stuff and you can never go wrong!
You can see Matt Cutt’s original posting here: Google’s Algorithm Change