Google is looking at penalizing ad heavy sites that make it difficult for people to find good content on web pages, Matt Cutts, head of Google’s web spam team, said yesterday at PubCon during his keynote session.
”What are the things that really matter, how much content is above the fold,” Cutts said. “If you have ads obscuring your content, you might want to think about it,” inferring that a if a user is having a hard time viewing content that the site may be flagged as spam.
Google has been updating its algorithms over the past couple months in their different Panda updates. After looking at the various sites Panda penalized during the initial rollout, one of the working theories became that Google was dropping the rankings of sites with too many ads “above the fold.”
This is an odd stance, considering Google AdSense Help essentially tells website publishers to place ads above the fold by noting, “All other things being equal, ads located above the fold tend to perform better than those below the fold.”
Cutts also encouraged all websites that have been marked as spam and feel they should not have been marked as spam to report their sites to Cutts and his team. Cutts stated that he has a team of web spam experts looking into problem sites and that the Google algorithm still misses a site or two in its changes.
SEO is Not Dead, Is Always Evolving
Leo Laporte took the stage Tuesday as the keynote speaker at PubCon. Laporte talked about video and how getting your audience involved with you is the next step to online media.
Later, Laporte said he believes SEO will be dead in the next six months. As you’d expect, the crowd responded negatively to this assertion, even causing many of them to walk out.
Yesterday, Cutts responded during his keynote talk. Cutts started by setting the record straight, letting everyone in the audience know that SEO will still be here for the next six months, let alone the next six years.
Cutts joked by mentioning a a tweet about him “spitting out his morning coffee” in reaction to Laporte’s statement the earlier morning. He thought it was more of a joke and laughed about the whole thing.
SEO will always be evolving, Cutts told the audience. Search will always be getting better, getting more personalized for each one of us. Google will always be striving to help people to get the best results possible while getting fresh real time results.
Later he talked about how if Google and every other search engine were to die that Internet marketing and SEO would still be alive because of social. Looks like SEO is here to stay!