Google Panda update has, for good or bad, hit many a blogs search traffic. While there are many suggestions on how one can try to recover lost traffic, one thing not touched upon is having a Panda-friendly AdSense layout.
Some websites push a lot of ads above the fold, all around the content, so much so that when you land on a page, you hardly see the post content, and the user has to scroll down to see the first line of the post content.
Panda it appears, frowns on such placements. In fact it has even penalized some websites with superior and original content if they contained too many ads above the fold.
Earlier Google recommended the following AdSense layout to get the best possible.
While placing ads above the fold is a good way to improve ad performance and make more money, you must also take care to ensure that your readers can easily find the content they are looking for.
What is Above the fold?
Generally speaking, all that you see in your browser window when you land on a webpage is considered as ‘above the fold’.
But because browsers and screen sizes vary, Google has created a handy tool that allows you to enter any URL, and check whether the ads are ‘above the fold’ or ‘below the fold’. Go here to use the tool.
Optimize your Google AdSense layout
Google wants that you do not push content below the fold and has therefore recommended the following ad layout and ad placements.
You can see that this layout is quite different from the earlier one.
Also take the following precautions while laying out your ads:
You may choose ad colors that complement your site, but avoid passing them off as content or aligning images with your ads or making nearby content mimic their formatting. Displaying ads in these ways isn’t permitted by AdSense program policies. Also, avoid placing ads in locations where they might be confused with menu, navigation, or download links, says Google.
It is equally important to space your ads in the content. Do not club them all together.
In fact, Mat Cutts has also confirmed that Google is looking at penalizing such websites, where content is obscured, in its search results.
If you have ads obscuring your content, you might want to think about it,” asking publishers to consider, “Do they see content or something else that’s distracting or annoying?
Once you have finalized laying out the ads, ask yourself 2 questions says Google:
Is my content easy to find? Is it easy to distinguish between my site’s content and my site’s ads?
If the answer is Yes to both, then you’re on the right track.