Google: Our AdWords Ads Wouldn't Trigger Page Layout Penalty

Jun 13, 2013 • 8:37 am | comments (13) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Page Layout AlgorithmIn January 2012, Google announced the page layout penalty and then updated it in October 2012, it basically sets to penalize sites with too many ads, too much in the way of your organic content.

As I covered at Search Engine Land, the question was posed to Google's Matt Cutts about Google penalizing their search results page because there are so many AdWord ads pushing down the organic search results.

Matt responded two ways, the second more interesting:

(1) Google doesn't index their own search results.

(2) If they did, the ad to organic results ratio and layout would not trigger a page layout penalty.

Got that? That is a good benchmark.

Here is a rough sketch of how AdWords ads layout within the almost defunct browser size test by Google:

Google Page Layout Penalty - AdWords Example- click for full size

Click the Image to Enlarge

I expect a lot of interesting and fun comments on this post.

Forum discussion at Google.

Update: It seems Matt didn't mean any example of a ad to organic ratio search results page. Check out this tweet:

So, not the really heavy ad pages, but the standard ad pages. Got that?

Previous story: Google: Target Last Minute Father's Day Gift Shoppers With AdWords



06/13/2013 02:52 pm

Is this a joke? Have they tried to google something like "Cheap cruises"? I have to turn off toolbars if I want to see all of the first listing, and according to their own browser tool 10% of people don't see anything besides ads on Google without scrolling for this search. If that doesn't trigger Top Heavy, what would? Wallpapering the screen in ads?

Courtney Cox

06/13/2013 03:49 pm

Only half of people see more than 1 organic listing vs. 6 ads. What a joke.


06/13/2013 04:03 pm

also, 20% only see paid ads. Yikes!


06/13/2013 04:04 pm

For this, I'm only counting the % that sees at least 50% of the listing - as that's the IAB standard for "visible"


06/13/2013 04:52 pm

Google: do as I say, not as I do.

Fede Einhorn

06/13/2013 08:14 pm

Certainly Google a joke. But I keep asking why oh why I go to Google to search and not bing, or duckduck by default!?!? Is it that we are all used to it? When we became so dumb that we can't switch to another service?!?

Chase Anderson

06/13/2013 09:09 pm

I'll begin placing 6-7 text ads above the fold on my sites right away!


06/14/2013 03:53 am

Clearly Matt has no idea. He doesn't write the code. A large portion of the advice he has given out lately can be ignored. if you want to see a good example look at Dr pete's tweet.


06/14/2013 05:13 am

Only Barry, Danny Sullivan and other loser liars trust their buddy Matt Cutts. They even have inside jokes with stuffed animals. Your site is getting slammed anyway, if you don;t listen to Scam Cutts at least you have a chance to make money, Google is rigged to increase ad clicks, Barry and Danny are essentially paid shills.


06/14/2013 12:17 pm

That update was informative; and important. It will be ignored by the headless chicken crowd, but thanks for posting it.


08/18/2013 08:07 pm

Does this update roll out constantly now? I was hit by something on the 15th of August 2013 the other day. Could it be pushing content down?


08/18/2013 08:08 pm

got no bloody idea what I have been penalized for

Spook SEO

01/25/2014 04:15 pm

BARRY SCHWARTZ you write up good information and the conclusion is Standard Ads but how many numbers of ads that counting on Standard ads. A nice snapshot of the webpage that you have shared BARRY and interesting point is almost a full page covering by Google own Ads. Thanks for sharing

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