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This 162 message thread spans 6 pages: < < 162 ( 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 > >     
Matt Cutts announces Feb 6 update of its "Page Layout Algorithm"
Robert Charlton




msg:4643974
 9:08 pm on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts tweeted an announcement today regarding a refresh of its "Page Layout Algorithm", also called the "above the fold" algorithm.

https://twitter.com/mattcutts/statuses/432940645200588800 [twitter.com]

SEO folks: we recently launched a
refresh of this algorithm:
[goo.gl...] Visible to outside
world on ~Feb. 6th.

Several members here reported seeing changes on Feb 6 in our Updates and SERP Changes Thread [webmasterworld.com...]

Thanks to Danny Sullivan for the alert [searchengineland.com...]

 

ohno




msg:4644802
 2:09 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'd be very carefull. We had such a banner running over the Christmas period to advise about delivery timescales (so no one could say they missed it!). It was cookied so only appeared once per browser session. Our traffic was well down in that period. Could be 100% coincidence but won't be risking it again! They are annoying but we did it because people don't read these notices otherwise.

CaptainSalad2




msg:4644807
 2:27 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

Requirements are (necessarily) completely different for PPC landing pages; that's a whole different conversation. But you don't want to apply the same standards to landing pages as to organic results


I'm talking strictly about the "user experience" of a site, the user experience is the same if viewing an organic or PPC site is it not?

If G is suggesting its users don't like to scroll x number of px then why does this bad user experience only apply to organic users? Are we saying users expect and are happy to scroll down a page when visiting an PPC site but expect less scrolling from an organic listing?

Emphasis on ďuser experienceĒ of a site, regardless of how they were found.

netmeg




msg:4644818
 2:54 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

the user experience is the same if viewing an organic or PPC site is it not?


No, it is not.

CaptainSalad2




msg:4644819
 2:57 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

@netmeg, so say I google a "widget" in organics, visit a site and have to scroll 600px of adds to reach the information I want...

I then find the same widget on a PPC site and have to scroll 600px worth of adds or stuff again, the ppc still had the same user experience didn't it?

Staying on topic of this update, the "above the fold" update please explain how my user experience wasn't the same?

[edited by: CaptainSalad2 at 3:38 pm (utc) on Feb 13, 2014]

ohno




msg:4644820
 3:07 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

Looking forward to an answer to that one!

simonmc




msg:4644833
 3:29 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

Paid search and organic search are not treated the same. One thing i have noticed for a long time now is that no matter how bad the organic results might look, the PPC adwords stuff is laser targeted.

Perhaps they need to sack the organic team and have the adwords engineers take over organic as well as they seem to hit the target 99.999999% of the time.

EditorialGuy




msg:4644840
 3:54 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

What is your opinion about interstitial banners?


I don't like them, just as I don't like commercials that run before video clips.

Google doesn't seem to mind them, though--at least not on "big media" sites. (Then again, most people probably get to those sites through Google News, where the "Page Layout Algorithm" may not apply.)

Staying on topic of this update, the "above the fold" update please explain how my user experience wasn't the same?


Different teams, different assumptions, different rules.

Google gets to decide where, whether, and how to apply the "Page Layout Algorithm."

CaptainSalad2




msg:4644844
 4:06 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

@editorial guy

>>>Google gets to decide where, whether, and how to apply the "Page Layout Algorithm."<<<

Thank you, now you can stop dressing it up as a "quality update".

netmeg




msg:4644846
 4:07 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

Different psychology! Landing page layout is part art and part science, and requires a different mindset. In a perfect world, my PPC landing pages don't look much like my organic pages at all (but since we don't live in a perfect world, sometimes I am constrained by the Shopping Cart or CMS to making do with what I get)

But that's way way way off topic. Apples and oranges. We're talking organics.

As for the interstitial - personally, I don't like them, and I haven't ever dared put one on a page I want to rank. If you have enough otherwise good signals, maybe you can get away with it, but hard to be sure. Heck I don't even like sliders (though sometimes I get overruled on those too)

ohno




msg:4644847
 4:07 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

Exactly. Quality my ass. It's a revenue generating update like all the ones since May Day.

Lipstick on a pig springs to mind here......

CaptainSalad2




msg:4644850
 4:13 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

>>>>We're talking organics.<<<

No I'm talking about the user experience of the Google site, the entire SERP, the quality of my experience should be paramount to Google no matter what I click on, if they think im annoyed scrolling on organics sites then im also annoyed scrolling on PPC sites.

ohno




msg:4644854
 4:19 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

Of course you won't be, you don't mind scrolling past ads, pop ups, pop unders etc etc becasue the site you clicked on paid to be at the top? Come on, it's fine in those circumstances. Seeing as most users are so thick they don't even know what a PPC site is I'd love to know which users came back to Google & told them they only dislike content like that if it is an organic result.

matrix_jan




msg:4644864
 4:47 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

the user experience is the same if viewing an organic or PPC site is it not?


No, it is not.

Different psychology!


Most of the users don't really care whether that link was a paid one that appeared at the top of the results or was just an organic result. They care to find what they came for... So user experience is the same.

User experience is how the user reacts to the layout, content, design, etc... Do users care, whether someone somewhere payed for that link, to adjust their opinions accordingly? Absolutely not.

EditorialGuy




msg:4644893
 6:54 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

Thank you, now you can stop dressing it up as a "quality update".


It's a quality update for organic search results. Nothing less, nothing more.

matrix_jan




msg:4644902
 7:36 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

It's a quality update for organic search results. Nothing less, nothing more.

Every update is for organic search results. Those that apply to ads are policy changes.

This update is not about ads only, it's about the user's experience from interacting with the website's above the fold content. It's how they connect with the website from above fold content. It can be the ad, can be the navigation, a picture, a banner, or anything the webmaster would try to squeeze between the user and the particular content.

4serendipity




msg:4644942
 9:21 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

I've no doubt there is an update, I've also no doubt that none of us will ever know anything of any worth about how it works, who it affects and why.


Sometimes the most valuable knowledge is knowing that we won't ever know it all.

netmeg




msg:4644943
 9:22 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

No I'm talking about the user experience of the Google site, the entire SERP, the quality of my experience should be paramount to Google no matter what I click on, if they think im annoyed scrolling on organics sites then im also annoyed scrolling on PPC sites.


Nope. And really, you're a lot better off if you get off this track, because it's not leading you to anything that can help *organics*.

mlemos




msg:4644996
 2:38 am on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

AFAIK, page layout is just one Panda factor. I suspect that sites hit on February 6 was not just for ad placement.

I for one recovered like 30% of the search traffic when compared to 2013 in the same week day, but I have lowered my ads on 2012 right after the page layout update of January.

Meanwhile I did other things to fix other Panda issues, no-indexing thin content, duplicated lists of content, etc..

This would explain why sites without ads were also hit now. They were probably hurt by other Panda factors.

CaptainSalad2




msg:4645049
 8:11 am on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

Nope. And really, you're a lot better off if you get off this track, because it's not leading you to anything that can help *organics


Nah I enjoy talking about web standards and user experience, love that stuff..everyone has a thing, that's my thing. If you are repeating the company line that this update is to improve its users experience ill have to repeat that their user experience doesnít only start once the PPC sites stop.

I suppose you donít feel the user experience is negative if PPC sites arenít mobile responsive/adaptive either? I hope not..

Iím not sure why itís so difficult for some of you to say, ďYou know what, we love Google, but yea it would be nice if they could give some incentives to PPC sites to improve user experience and push the web as a whole forward, not just organics.Ē

It's a quality update for organic search results. Nothing less, nothing more.


Call it what it is, "another rule for organic sites", you donít need to say itís for negative reasons but you donít need to sugar coat everything G does in the name of quality either dude.

Shai




msg:4645061
 8:49 am on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

I think it needs to be said that CaptainSalad2 has made a really good point and if it is true that Google do not apply these changes to influence position or CPC in its paid advertising division then there is definitely some serious double standards going on here.

However, It is a real shame that some comments on this thread are starting to resemble a schoolyard argument.

As soon as egos or emotions are brought into any real debate, the debate becomes useless and rarely produces any reasonable outcome or conclusions. I think that some comments here can be made in a slightly more mature and less emotional way while on the other hand posters should be comfortable acknowledging when a good point is made. The position of the prior will be taken more seriously while the latter will produce a more responsible discussion.

So, do we know for a fact that none of these updates have any affect or influence on PPC?

CaptainSalad2




msg:4645138
 11:20 am on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

if it is true that Google do not apply these changes to influence position or CPC in its paid advertising division then there is definitely some serious double standards going on here.


Very true

So, do we know for a fact that none of these updates have any affect or influence on PPC?


I think they would have put out a press release prior to release so that their advertisers had ample time to improve the websites user experience. It would have been very simple for a site with a little warning to adjust the layout inline with what G views as a best practice.

No word in regards to PPC so my best guess would be to say that this, like the mobile, panda, penguin, grammar and all other termed quality updates are strictly targeted at improving G's user experience of the organic websites.

CaptainSalad2




msg:4645146
 11:45 am on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

The only possible positive I can see from an overall user experience is that if the organic user experience becomes so great due to these updates (I don't see it yet, terrible, terrible results right now) maybe it will have a knock on effect and the PPC sites would be forced to improve their own user experience in line with guidelines or fall way behind the better organic experience? I feel like im reaching for a positive though...and at best its still clearly double standards.

goodroi




msg:4645199
 1:47 pm on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

Mods Note: Please make sure your comments are relevant and professional. If they are off-topic, unprofessional or attacking others don't be surprised when it is deleted without warning.

Awarn




msg:4645217
 1:51 pm on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

This may be a dumb question. Is there anywhere that Google has given guidelines on the page layout? In the Searchengineland article that was mentioned they have a link to a Google page for browser testing. Seems odd that it states on that page that it is out of date. If you use that tool it makes it looks like Google wants the layout left aligned and the full width of the screen. I am a touch confused as historically it seemed like pages were designed in a portrait page view and that would probably fit best on phones as well ie iphone. However if I study that browser tool it looks like they are leaning to a landscape page view. Now I have seen full width 3 column layouts rank well. Generally they are navigation on the left, center column is content and far right is other trivial data. Now that kind of aligns with that browser testing tool. Im getting tired of these changing rules that have never been mentioned previously.

cattie




msg:4645232
 2:09 pm on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

I don't think Google has given precise guidelines because that would make it too easy for the spammers to know just how far they can abuse the rules before getting caught.

I wish the people that are making bold statements in this thread could provide real research to prove their assertions instead of just shouting louder and louder about.

Getting emotional at Google is like yelling at the sun. You are not going to change anything and are just wasting time from fixing your page layouts. I wasn't impacted this time but I would like to hear what other think are best practices to avoid getting hit by version #4. Here is what I am thinking.

A) Avoid pop-ups/interstitials
B) Keep the ads & graphics that could accidentally get flagged as ads off to the sides and a minority of the page
C) Use smaller ad sizes with more animation and interesting messaging to counter the smaller ad sizes

EditorialGuy




msg:4645268
 3:29 pm on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

Iím not sure why itís so difficult for some of you to say, ďYou know what, we love Google, but yea it would be nice if they could give some incentives to PPC sites to improve user experience and push the web as a whole forward, not just organics.Ē


Google's search-quality staff aren't in charge of the overall user experience. They're in charge of organic results (including the Page Layout Algorithm, which is the topic of this thread).

If you want to complain about Google's PPC user experience, why not start a thread in the AdWords forum?

CaptainSalad2




msg:4645269
 3:33 pm on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

I wish the people that are making bold statements in this thread could provide real research to prove their assertions instead of just shouting louder


I really couldnít agree more, I assume G did extensive user testing before this update and have definitive proof (and a research paper) that proves a user experience is negative when scrolling on a site they found organically but positive when scrolling on the exact same page found via PPC. Please show us this research!

PS you might want to stay away from image changing gifs for adds as there is real research these do annoy users. Have a good weekend people ;)

[edited by: goodroi at 5:12 pm (utc) on Feb 14, 2014]

tangor




msg:4645283
 4:29 pm on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

Okay... I've now officially lost interest in this thread. This round in round is giving me a headache. No recent production or even speculation. As I mentioned very early on, we don't have any information or reports of sites that have been hit, nor any reports of what others have done to "fix" things (which we still are not clear about).

It is called a page layout algorithm... great. What is that layout? Sans any input from G we will not know, and it's unlikely they will be more clear as that can reveal how to game the system.

scooterdude




msg:4645286
 4:40 pm on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

I've got a question for y'all .

Back when this page lay out thing came out, they had a left justified template page that folk where supposed to use to see how the layout thingy viewed their pages.

Does that template still exist,

is it still left justified

Did any off you benefit from left justifying your sites(I did see some like that)

Awarn




msg:4645292
 4:45 pm on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

Is this it?

[browsersize.googlelabs.com...]

I wonder the same thing

ohno




msg:4645293
 4:51 pm on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

As I said earlier in the thread we were hit. We have zero ads anywhere on any page. We have a tiny header with our logo & that's it. But I also have zero interest in this thread. A few people have made some good points but others keep banging the same old line. Some are being so pedantic it's almost funny.

In short pointless. Thanks to those who PM'd me, much better conversation :)

Have a nice weekend :)

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