So, I'm reading this news about the most recent PLU update and this got me thinking: it has been more than a year since Google's preview snippets for my site have all became wrong. I chucked it up to Gbot parsing the CSS wrong ( though it works in all browsers I care about) and never really got around to fixing it.
Basically, what happens is that I assume they cannot see any of the images and a large portion of the header has collapsed and all of the content (including some ads - hence the PLU connection) moved up into the ATF. Also, some of the content mysteriously disappeared - I can only guess that its DIV got pushed into the space that's outside of the preview picture size.
So, with page layout now a ranking factor, how exactly are they going to rank a site that they cannot properly render automatically?
Does anyone already have experience with layout based ranking changes? My site has seen a small dip beginning on the 7th but I'm not sure if PLU is involved at all here - I've seen these dips before and they seem to right themselves (though not always)
Basically, what happens is that I assume they cannot see any of the images and a large portion of the header has collapsed and all of the content (including some ads - hence the PLU connection) moved up into the ATF.
Actually this isn't a likely case of Google getting it wrong, it's a sign that your code may be improperly nested and/or rendering in quirks mode. I've seen this with several wordpress themes lately where the header and body of the code don't mesh correctly. It LOOKS fine to me in FF, IE, etc but when rendered by Google preview all the content gets shoved onto one line.
Solution: Visit the markup validation section of W3.org (http://validator.w3.org/) and try to resolve as many of the issues as you can. Pay particular attention to the code in the header.php file (if wordpress) and the start of the rest of the page. I've done this before and it resolved the problem.
Thanks, Sgt. I do realize the issue is not necessarily on Google's end BUT the [rhetorical] question is: in the algo change they've just released, do they allow for markup that does not validate or for whatever other reason looks fine to actual humans but not to bots (which could, for example, have images or even the entire CSS disallowed - I suspect I have something of this nature)