pageoneresults - 5:03 pm on Mar 6, 2011 (gmt 0)
Also - I don't get the reluctance to reduce ad units. There are only a small number of quality relevant advertisers for each keyword, and they will be in your first ad block. After that, they diminish in quality and your final ad block will have 5 cent ads in it. So remove them, they probably aren't helping you financially anyway.
Best advice I've seen so far!
I've worked with a WebmasterWorld member, who is probably following this topic, and that is exactly what we did, quite a while ago, reduced the number of ad units. While there were short term losses, the long term gains are off the charts. Their traffic continues to rise. In fact, this update actually rewarded them. I'm looking at a nice little spike starting on Feb 24, 2011 and showing an upward trend from that point forward. Its a quality site and well done from a usability and accessibility standpoint.
I was impressed by this members enthusiasm to implement ALL the changes I suggested. I know you're reading! ;)
What did we do?
1. Valid HTML platform
2. Pure HTML
3. Subtle ad unit placement
4. Less ad units
5. Content first - Users first
If I visit a page on your site, the first thing I should see is what I'm there looking for, the primary content of the page. If my viewport is filled with mostly ads, in positions where I'm usually expecting to see on site navigation, I usually hit my back button and contribute to the high bounce rate for that destination. ;)
From the looks of things, when discussing AdSense, many of these folks have gotten really greedy in their implementations. Remember that whole concept of banner blindness? Well, that line became very blurred when AdSense came on the scene.
Oh, and you folks at AdSense? Maybe you need to stop sending out emails promoting the placement of more ad units? You've been providing folks with all the rope they need to hang themselves. You're responsible for the AdSense Farms that are now finally being purged from the indexes.