70% Did Not Recover From Google's Page Layout Algorithm

Sep 17, 2012 • 8:47 am | comments (9) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Page Layout AlgorithmIn January, Google released a new algorithm that was named the page layout algorithm that demoted the rankings of pages where ads distracted too much from the content. It didn't seem to impact a huge number of sites but those sites that it did impact got hit hard.

So we ran a poll a few months ago asking if anyone recovered and I wanted to share the responses.

Of those who were hit and responded to my poll, 70% said they did not recover at all. 21% said they did fully recover. And 9% said they partially recovered.

Google's Page Layout Algorithm Poll

Are you shocked by these results? Please read my poll disclosure policy before jumping to any scientific conclusions.

Note: This story was scheduled to be posted on this day, but was written earlier.

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Praveen Sharma

09/17/2012 12:55 pm

I am surprised. Have these 70% tried to improve their site architecture?

Sam Hollingsworth

09/17/2012 02:55 pm

What was the sample size? How many people were hit and responded to the poll?

josh bachynski

09/17/2012 04:08 pm

yes I would like to know what the 21% changed that the other 70% couldn't or refused to figure out


09/17/2012 04:29 pm

I'm going to guess that the 70% didn't change their layout or move their ads around. If the most prominent stuff on your page is ads then you need to re think what you're offering to users.

Fredrik Eriksson

09/17/2012 04:29 pm

Maybe not everyone understood which algorithm the poll was about and said "No" because they knew some algorithm had hit them. Sounds like something that would be easy to fix if you got hit by it. Maybe they are just lazy? :)

Casey Markee

09/17/2012 06:12 pm

Same criticism here: release the sample size. How many responded? How "exactly" was the question worded? I've read your disclusure policy, that's great, however it would still be nice to have a sample size to correlate with the results. Personally, we haven't noticed any subscriber-submitted questions in FastTrack support on this issue and we covered it in detail back in January. I'd love to find out if there is a niche-related correlation between those who were affected and those that were not.


09/17/2012 09:48 pm

It would also be interesting to know how many of these sites were running adsense ads vs other ads. Having said that most web masters I have talked have no idea what that update even was.

Terry Van Horne

09/19/2012 02:44 pm

IMO, the GooPLA is about more than just ads and locations it is also about REAL Content above the fold...hence Just moving some ads around will not fix it. Pages of links leading to real content... ie copy/anchor text in the content container are also factors and there is a possibility it also includes dampening for unrelated links on page

Andre Hospidales

09/23/2012 04:02 am

I think the poll should have been designed to find out how bad their layout was and exactly what the 70% actually did before making a judgement as to whether their updates had any effect.

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