Integrated Agency Blog

Google “Page Layout” Algorithm Updates and Potential Effects on Phoenix Online Advertising

​Ever landed on a web page overstuffed with ads after searching for some type of services in Phoenix? Online advertising these days is the delicate art of keeping your advertising’s online landing pages and marketing centric content balanced with integrity above the fold. For those that stuff lots of ads at the top of their page, Google is ready to stack another update on us and penalize without prejudice (unless of course you are a Google product page – but that’s a whole other story).

Too Heavy With Ads?

The alteration takes unswerving aim at any website content development pages that are obscured under loads of online advertising and is dubbed the “page layout algorithm”. From Google’s post on its Inside Search blog in January:

“We’ve heard complaints from users that if they click on a result and it’s difficult to find the actual content, they aren’t happy with the experience. Rather than scrolling down the page past a slew of ads, users want to see content right away. So sites that don’t have much content “above-the-fold” can be affected by this change. If you click on a website and the part of the website you see first either doesn’t have a lot of visible content above-the-fold or dedicates a large fraction of the site’s initial screen real estate to ads, that’s not a very good user experience. Such sites may not rank as highly going forward.”


What about online advertising pop-up, pop-unders or overlay ads? Is all online advertising they impacted? Google says that this only applies to positions of static ads and fixed ads on the page themselves.

Although the online advertising algorithms change will impact less than 1% of Google’s searches globally, it’s best to consider your own online advertising practices if you are a local business looking for searchers to find you in Phoenix. Online advertising is primer for your direct market to reach your target audience at the time they are ready, yet your own content on page must be valuable and rich in content – unobstructed by your own ads or that posting from other online advertising networks.

Ad Networks – double check your safe sites and the themes of not only your best performing ads click- through, but inbound anchor texts from trusted partners. These trusted online publishers’ sites that may have a great theme match and secondary audience profile for your products or services may be too “top heavy” and probably lean towards fluffy content. Therefore, the degrading PR – page rank value and unqualified traffic may be passed along to your innocent little domain in Phoenix. Online advertising is a balance of relevancy, compelling offers and meeting your targets when and where they are ready, including the context of where they find you. As in life and business, you are only as valuable as your network, so if we have learned anything over the years as Google Certified AdWords Partners at FabCom – we are recommend that you clean up your circle of ad networks and link partners. We do this for our clients periodically when structured campaign analysis and custom reporting alerts let us know when KPIs, ICCs and CPAs are affected. You can also do this manually by using the tools in:

  1. SEO Majestic: check you and your competitor’s SEO factors in context of inbound links – where are they coming from – manage and submit negative sites that you wish to block inbound links from
  3. Market Samurai: drill and adjust your inbound links with new phrase and exact match anchor texts with new partners that you can trust are not too “top heavy.”

Display network advertisers – if you are solely using Google AdWord’s Display Network to get your content out there within a trusted network partner – the signals may be balanced within Google’s network of advertising vendors as they are the ones actually vetting the web for “top heavy” behemoths.

  1. Double check your display network (partners/publishers) manually every month to ensure that they stay on track with their content and with you online advertising objectives

Tell us what you think. Leave a comment below and share any elations or horror stories from Google’s barrage of updates over the past 18 months. How did it affect your traffic and online advertising campaigns?


Brian Fabiano


Bob House