On January 19, 2012, Google made an interesting change to their algorithm. Yes, it is just one out of about 500 algorithm changes per year, and it will only produce a noticeable affect to less than 1% of searches globally. Considering that 1% of the 12 billion searches on Google in December 2011 equals 120 million searches, 1% is a big deal.
The change means the Google will be looking at the page layout of each landing page, specifically for content “above the fold.” If a site comes up in the organic rankings for a paticular keyword, Google wants the user to be able to find that information quickly without having to scroll and scroll to find it. Google is really trying to target sites that have lots of ads above the fold, and push the real content down below those ads.
Score one for Google in the fight to improve user experience!
To read more about this change please take a look at Google’s Official Search Blog, Page layout algorithm improvement.