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Above the fold algo and image centered site?
cmendla

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4650833 posted 12:44 am on Mar 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

I just read a bunch of things on the 'above the fold content vs ads' google algo.

Suppose you have a site that is centered on imagery (NOT adult) and does not carry ads. The existing site is primarily one large image slideshow and a menu bar above the fold.

Then there is some white space (About a screen's worth)

then comes some text about the industry and why their widget service is good.

I have some serious reservations about this in general. My questions.

1. How likely is it that Google would look at a site like this and downgrade it because there is no real text above the fold even though there are no ads.

2. Does google 'see' the whitespace between the slide show and the text? The owner wants the text 'out of the way'. I'm concerned that might be inviting a penalty.

I had considered putting a heavy content page in the site describing the business. I think though that google might start to rank that higher than the home page. It would probably improve traffic but I think the owner would get frustrated that they aren't going to the home page.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

thanks

chris

 

Robert Charlton

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4650833 posted 10:03 am on Mar 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

Chris, I think you answered your own question. As I was reading down and came to...

Then there is some white space (About a screen's worth)

...a bell rang even before I got to your question #2.

I'm sure that Google can see a screen's worth of white space, and that this much space probably makes Google wonder what you're trying to hide. IMO, it could lead to trouble.

<mini rant> I always wonder why "designers" who deal with images can't handle a block of text.

Several paragraphs of a discreetly subdued font, not hidden but simply containing some grey, should work very well. I would not make it ultra tiny, nor ultra light. It should be easy to read, attractive, and formatted so it doesn't "pop" and distract from the image. Do not skimp on content. Have it work in conjunction with the slide show, with fixed html text giving an overview of the site, pretty much as you suggested.

Space it a line or two below the image... something that looks good when you see both image and text.

If the owner is uncomfortable with words, he should hire a writer. IMO, image sites do need text.

roshaoar



 
Msg#: 4650833 posted 10:38 am on Mar 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

@Robert "IMO, image sites do need text."

Absolutely. This is a large issue with photography-related sites. Beautiful portfolios and galleries with no words. So nothing for a search engine to hook onto.

bumpski

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4650833 posted 8:36 pm on Mar 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

<mini rant> I always wonder why "designers" who deal with images can't handle a block of text.

Absolutely. This is a large issue with photography-related sites. Beautiful portfolios and galleries with no words. So nothing for a search engine to hook onto.

As a webmaster I understand the quotes above, but...

I thought a site was supposed to be designed for its user, not for Google?. The designer probably knows exactly what their visitor wants. Art museums tend not to have scads of text near their art.

Perhaps create a page with appropriate text and a thumbnail of the "art piece" and actually canonicalize this thumbnail page to the page with the image/ art piece. Link the art piece back to the thumbnail/text page. Google might actually link to the art piece, which is clearly what the designer wants his visitor to see first and most importantly. This inverted structure might suit the designer, and also do what Google says, design for the visitor; right?

[google.com...]
Ten things we know to be true

We first wrote these “10 things” when Google was just a few years old. From time to time we revisit this list to see if it still holds true. We hope it does—and you can hold us to that.

1. Focus on the user and all else will follow. ..
..we’ve focused on providing the best user experience possible.
2. It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
We do search.
But I digress.
alika

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4650833 posted 3:29 pm on Mar 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

How does Google define "content"? Is it just text?

I am wondering about this in relation to the practice of organizing the layout of pages such as:

Site Logo/Header
Title of the article
Byline / Date / Social media buttons
Large Graphic / Photo
ARTICLE TEXT

I am thinking of some of the top media sites where you see a big image/photo right below the title before the article text. So that basically pushes the text down the page -- yes, oftentimes, below the fold -- because users immediately see the title and the photo/graphic.

Is that photo/graphic not considered part of the content? Does Google not consider that graphic/photo to be part of the content?

Should a site owner do something like

Site Logo/Header
Title of the article
Byline / Date / Social media buttons
ARTICLE TEXT
Large Graphic / Photo
ARTICLE TEXT

ronin

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4650833 posted 4:05 pm on Mar 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

I thought a site was supposed to be designed for its user, not for Google?


If you'll permit me an analogy...

If you're an author, you're supposed to write books for your readers, not for librarians.

But you've got to help the librarian.

If you don't put title and author on the front cover and on the spine, if you don't have a contents page or an index at the back, if you don't have page numbers and chapters...

... you're making life much harder for the librarian.

They may end up thinking your book is in a different genre or for a different audience (adult fiction versus young adult fiction, for example). They may put it on a shelf in the wrong part of the library. They may not be able to retrieve it when they need to. They may not recommend it when a library visitor asks for a book and it fits perfectly what they're looking for.

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4650833 posted 6:27 pm on Mar 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

I thought a site was supposed to be designed for its user, not for Google?. The designer probably knows exactly what their visitor wants. Art museums tend not to have scads of text near their art.

Don't go confusing people with facts. It's just not right -- And, personally, I have to ask someone to explain all the art in detail to me when I go to the museum, because they don't have at least 1000 words of text to tell me a painting of an ocean beach is a painting of an ocean beach. [lol]

creeking

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4650833 posted 8:05 pm on Mar 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

is there a tag that tells search engines to ONLY scan the text, or ONLY scan the images?


just wondering

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