Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, announced on Twitter that Google had changes its search algorithm on February 6. The newly introduced filter is known as Top Heavy algorithm and targets websites that have too many ads on the top or ads that are ‘distracting’ to users, and downgrades their ranking.
Google’s emphasis on user experience has once again been brought to the fore with this update. The websites that have too many ads on their webpage that consume almost all the visible screen space are deemed to provide a bad user experience. Users expect to see content on the very first look and if they need to scroll down to find content and/or have difficulty in locating the content, then that is not the kind of experience they wish for. Google has stated this in its own words –
“We’ve heard complaints from users that if they click on a result and it’s difficult to find the actual content, they aren’t happy with the experience. Rather than scrolling down the page past a slew of ads, users want to see content right away.
So sites that don’t have much content “above-the-fold” can be affected by this change. If you click on a website and the part of the website you see first either doesn’t have a lot of visible content above-the-fold or dedicates a large fraction of the site’s initial screen real estate to ads, that’s not a very good user experience.
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