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New Google Algorithm update to go for after sites with too many ads above the fold, but what does it mean to you?

Yesterday, Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, announced on Twitter that they have released a refresh of its website layout algorithm, on February 6.  This update will penalize the rankings for websites with too many ads above the fold, and websites that user experience is affected by the ads placement.


History of Ads Above The Fold algorithm

This is the third algorithm update targeting websites with too many ads.

  • The first one was announced on January 19, 2012 and it impacted less than 1% of English searches

  • The 2nd one was announced on October 9, 2012 and it impacted about 0.7% of English searches

  • The third one, February 6, 2014. It’s currently unknown how many search queries were affected, but most likely it will be close to 1%.

What are Ads above the fold?

To everybody’s understanding, above the fold means the “above the scroll”. This refers to the landing page of the website that is visible without scrolling.

above the fold

What websites will be penalized?

Websites with thin content, and with too many ads above the fold are the most likely to be penalized. Websites with very poor user experience are Google’s main target. This update, will targets all types of Ads, whether it’s Adsense, Ads companies or sponsored banners.

How to recover from this penalty?

If your website has suffered rankings drop in the last days, the first thing to check is your ads placement. Try to use different ads placement, and use as less possible ads above the fold. Once you will make these changes, your rankings will be back in a few days or weeks.

Here are some examples of websites with too many ads above the fold:

ads above the fold example

And another example using Chitika Ads:

Ads above the fold



Max Lukyanenko

Hello. Thank you for sharing! Ok, I understand that the ads ahould be below the space that is visible without scrolling?

Thank you again!

Felix Tarcomnicu

Hey Max,

yes, that’s what ads above the fold means. Don’t place to many ads there.

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