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If you decide to update your page layout, the page layout algorithm will automatically reflect the changes as we re-crawl and process enough pages from your site to assess the changes. How long that takes will depend on several factors, including the number of pages on your site and how efficiently Googlebot can crawl the content. On a typical website, it can take several weeks for Googlebot to crawl and process enough pages to reflect layout changes on the site.
Above the fold? This is what i see when i type credit cards in google, filled with money. Most likely they are making money on every single Credit Cards query.
It appears to me that Google divides up the page into three categories: Content, Ads, and Other.
There is definitely an authority threshold where the Panda / Penguin / ATF rules don't apply anymore. Every niche has its own examples of sites that thrive while doing things that would bury less authoritative sites.
I obviously have no insight into what that threshold is, but I know it's my goal to try and get there.
If just we could get such detail about Panda.