The last few months have seen major changes to the way Google ranks websites, we’ve written about this in several posts but you may want to read more about in my post from July, What’s New in Search? One of those changes is about adverts on websites and how they could affect search engine rankings. There are a couple of recent posts on Search Engine Watch & Search Engine Land about this.
Many businesses take ads on their site as a way of generating revenue, so does this mean that businesses who do this are going to lose their rankings?
Not necessarily! It all depends on how the site is set up and on the content that goes alongside the ads. Google’s aim is to filter out low quality sites with little useful content for visitors. The type of sites which will be affected by this update are generally those which have been set up with the sole purpose of having lots of ads to maximise revenue from them. Essentially, sites which are full of ads with little or no content along side them. There are plenty of websites around like this and I’m sure you’ve come across them while surfing the net.
If you’ve created a site where you regularly create useful content, but carry ads alongside this content, then you shouldn’t need to worry as long as the content takes priority over the ads. So, for example, having a blog with ads in the sidebar, or perhaps between posts as well, shouldn’t lead to any loss of rankings.
If you’re not sure whether or not your site will get hit in these updates, then take a good look through it from a visitor’s perspective. Will visitors have to sift through the ads to find the content when they arrive on your site? If so, you need to make changes to make sure the content takes priority.
Do you take ads on your site? Are you generating much revenue from them? Please share your experiences with us in the comments!