londrum - 7:01 pm on Jan 21, 2012 (gmt 0)
is it google's job to judge what is good site design though? might they be in danger of chucking out the baby with the bath water?
there is no real way to judge the quality of the content by looking at where the ads are positioned. in fact, its impossible.
that google blog entry specifically says "[If the first part of the website] either doesnít have a lot of visible content above-the-fold or dedicates a large fraction of the siteís initial screen real estate to ads, thatís not a very good user experience. Such sites may not rank as highly going forward."
so what happens if a site moves their above-the-fold ads to the bottom instead, and leaves the rest the same. presumably they would no longer fall foul of google's new rule, and yet -- as far as the user is concerned -- the actual page content is indentical. its the same text, same words, same images. it hasn't changed at all. but one layout gets punished and the other doesn't? its nuts. google are punishing the design, not the content. how can they not lose a few good sites along the way?