SEO – Above The Fold Algorithm Change

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GOOGLE SEO TIP: Have Relevant Text Above The Fold

If you want your page to rank well on Google for a certain search term, make sure there’s content related to that term above the fold on that page.

Google’s recent algorithm change is penalising pages that don’t have the content the user wants above the fold on the page they’re brought to. Perhaps your homepage previously ranked well for one of your main terms, but above the fold on your homepage doesn’t actually contain the content that users are searching for. It’s possible that you can then go from having a strong ranking (e.g. on the first page of Google), to being bumped down several pages.

There appear to be two main types of pages being affected by this:

1. Text above the fold not focused on the main search term you want to rank on.

As above, where you’ve been working on driving traffic to one main page of your site (e.g. homepage), but it doesn’t actually contain text above the fold related to the search query you want to rank on. An example of this is the page below.

sonic academy Ableton Tutorial screenshot

This page, until recently, ranked highly on searches for ‘Ableton Tutorials’ as that’s the main purpose of the site. However, there’s not much text content on the homepage specific to Ableton tutorials, and so the ranking on this term dropped.


2. Too Many Ads Above The Fold

Other sites penalised by this algorithm change are those with lots of ads above the fold. Now, while it’s common practice to place ads above the fold and it’s understood that they can perform well and generate money for the site owner, it’s those sites with too many ads above the fold that it’s coming down on. So, you’re fine with a normal amount, but if there are too many, it could hurt your ranking on Google.


So what brought this on?

User experience

Where this change stemmed from is basically users complaining that if they click on a search result and it’s difficult to find the actual content, then it’s a poor user experience. Rather than scrolling down the page past lots of ads or irrelevant content, they want to see what they searched for straight away. Seems fair enough really.


So what now?

Update affected pages

Do you have any pages on your site that match the above descriptions? Do you think your page rank for those pages has been affected by this algorithm change? If so, then update your pages so that there’s relevant text content above the fold on those pages that matches the search query that you want to rank on.

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