Robert_Charlton - 2:44 am on Jun 17, 2011 (gmt 0)
...best practices included keeping a substantial amount of text content above the fold, as opposed to showing ads (obviously) or even a relatively large graphic (whose intent Google can't interpret and therefore does not value).
I'm curious whether anyone has in fact seen a large image above the fold producing Panda-like drops when that image is not an ad.
I ask in part because I'm in process on a site redesign that would insert a large graphic... one that's "compelling", to use tangor's word... which would split up existing home page text. "Compelling" is the reason we're considering adding it.
Several sites I've been involved with in the past have used large home page graphics, along with well-written text, meant to be read, below the graphic, and I'm seeing no ranking changes. I just checked one in particular that has essentially 900 px (vertically) of image and white space filling the screen before any optimized content shows up. It's an image very much integral to the site... not an ad... and I haven't seen any noticeable shifts in ranking over this Panda period.
That said, I understand Broadway's hesitation.