It's been more than 9 months since Google launched the Panda update. Apart from the content farms; webmasters were trying to figure out some patterns that includes bounce rate, ads blah! blah! But nothing was officially confirmed before Google announced its new algorithm named Page Layout Algorithm for pages with too many ads.
The purpose of the new algorithm is to target websites who bury the content under a load of ads. This Page Layout Algorithm is determined to hit the websites that serve ads "above the fold" and have placed content beneath or websites filled with overwhelming ads.
Sites that are creating more content "above-the-fold" than the ads on a page will not be affected by this change. Google will be penalizing those who use more ads "above-the-fold" than the whole page. Apparently Google is trying to become a human. Gradually, they are coming up with changes that are highly advantageous from user point of view and SEO is getting more complicated. As far as page layout Algorithm is concerned, If your website do not serve ads "above-the-fold" then you are almost safe from Google's wrath.
Will affect not more than 1% Websites
Google stated that it will only affect 1% of the total websites globally who have ads on their websites. But don't just ignore this message as their 1% can have millions of websites.
Penalizing only Static Ads/Fixed Ads
Google also confirmed that it is not penalizing the websites that are using the pop-up, pop-under ads or overlay ads on their websites. This algorithm is only applying to the static or fixed ads on the pages of the websites.
Google also owns more ads on its SERP Page?
Here comes the controversy! This is the real fact that Google also serves ads "above the fold" in its organic results so are they going penalize Google as they did with Google Chrome Browser? Just a thought that popped up in my mind!
What if your website is hit?
If your website has been penalized for having too many ads then remove "above the fold" ads and place them under your content. Once you change the layout it will take an unknown time to recover from the penalty. Google says, it could take a few weeks before we re-adjust SERPs of your website and restore your traffic. It also depends on the website pages that are indexed and how frequently Google crawl the website. Check your sites. That's all for now, "Enjoy Your Coffee"
Michael Stanley, 55