Google Page Layout Algorithm Officially Updated

Oct 10, 2012 • 9:15 am | comments (35) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Google Page Layout AlgorithmYesterday, Matt Cutts of Google announced on Twitter that Google has officially updated the page layout algorithm that it launched in January of this year.

This is the first official and confirmed update of this algorithm but I do not believe this is the first time they actually ran an update on this algorithm. I believe they ran updates and refreshes to the page layout algorithm before but haven't told us. Google has been in a telling mood and told us about this data refresh.

Why do I think this wasn't the first update? Well, when I ran a poll in June about recoveries for this update, 21% said they did recover - and the only way for them to recover is for Google to push out a refresh OR if they webmaster confused this update with another.

Here is Matt's tweet:

Now, the biggest complaint I am seeing is that the updates are happening so fast and on top of each other. Honestly, I think this is typically the case, but recently Google has been very interested in announcing these updates.

Let's take a look:

Page Layout Update & Other Updates

As you can see, there is a lot going on recently with updates at Google.

I personally would not label this page layout update a second update, I wouldn't be surprised if this was number 3 or 4 or so for the year.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld and DigitalPoint Forums.

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10/10/2012 01:39 pm

Lets get that ppc revenue up folks! Love GOOGLE

Kevin Gerding

10/10/2012 02:05 pm

Google can have 100% pure ads above the fold and others can't. This is hypocrisy at its finest. I guess the only ones permitted to monetize traffic is Google. One thing I did note is Matt Cutts' appearance in his last video about guest blogging. Matt was not his normal chipper self. Whether Matt is tired from working so hard on these updates or understanding that they are not quality based but instead revenue driven algorithmic adjustments, it showed in his last video. I know a lot of people find it easy to go on a "Matt bashing" spree when Google makes serious changes. While I feel Google is washing the SERPS clean of those that compete with Google's own products and services, I do recognize Matt gets orders from above. Even though Matt won't publicly state it, I believe he is not entirely pleased with what is going on either.


10/10/2012 02:14 pm

This updates are happening so fast. Its irritating. Steve @ MDF Forums puts its that Google is SPAMMING webmasters with updates


10/10/2012 04:51 pm

From searchenginewatch "If you believe your site has been affected, some are reporting you will need to wait for the next Above the Fold Page Layout update to see a recovery. However, in Google’s announcement of the initial update, they advised: “If you decide to update your page layout, the page layout algorithm will automatically reflect the changes as we re-crawl and process enough pages from your site to assess the changes. How long that takes will depend on several factors, including the number of pages on your site and how efficiently Googlebot can crawl the content. On a typical website, it can take several weeks for Googlebot to crawl and process enough pages to reflect layout changes on the site.” We’ve asked Google to confirm that webmasters can recover from this update by having their site modified and recrawled. We will update the post if we hear back."


10/10/2012 05:26 pm

I think that because so many people used link-exchange methods, keyword stuffing and so forth in the past, it sort of killed the way that Google used to perform search, so now the playing field is being leveled (or massively destroyed for many good people) with all these animal updates. All this monkeying around may be amusing and cute for Google, but many good people are in horrible shape because of such. It's very sad to see. Kevin, if you read this I do agree with your comments. What's good for the goose is good for the gander type thing. I also feel that all search engines should create several columns to where the search results are doubled or tripled because there are too many websites out there and what appears at the top is generally what gets clicked on amid search. They would still have room for their ads.


10/10/2012 08:14 pm

Well we asked for more transparency and they ar giving it to us. In the past Google would probably do these updates anyway but not tell us about it. However having said that in the old days. My personal sites and those of my clients would sit at the same position in the serps for years on end without being affected. Now these changes are having a real impact on the serps and therefor people sites and livelihoods.

Barry Schwartz

10/11/2012 04:40 am

Search Engine Land has more on that at The update means those who were hit by Top Heavy before potentially are now freed, if they made changes Google recommends. Those hit by it with the latest update will have to make changes and then wait until the next refresh of Top Heavy.

John Brown

10/11/2012 05:07 am

so when google will ban their own site and youtube for ads above fold? Or that rules only for small webmasters/google slaves???

John Brown

10/11/2012 05:08 am

if you will search anything in google you will see lot of youtube videos in results. It clear example of linkexchange (it not organic in any way results) between google own sites.


10/11/2012 06:07 am

All these major updates have one thing in mind: RAMP UP GOOGLE'S REVENUE for the fourth quarter. That moron, Alan, says that Google is providing transparency, but that moron didn't inspect the code or Adwords revenue. Wanna guess what revenue enhancing gems gems are hiding in these updates? How else is Google supposed to reach a30% increase in sales and ad clicks ? Search share is stagnant.


10/11/2012 06:42 am

Ok I got sick of Google since EMD update. Time to move on with other things. Goodbye.


10/11/2012 12:47 pm

The way I read it Barry is that this is not an algo that is periodically refreshed like Panda or Penguin but rather its data is refreshed on an ongoing basis. The recent update was an update to the algo itself. So if you've been hit by this in the last couple of days you can change your layout and hopefuly reasonably quickly (once your site has been spidered/re-indexed with the new layout) you can expect to recover. Nope?

Barry Schwartz

10/11/2012 12:49 pm

It is run periodically by Google, like Penguin and Panda, from what I understand. It is not automatically run.


10/11/2012 12:52 pm

i think google willl be lost own client from this update all will be move towards yahoo

Nick Stamoulis

10/11/2012 01:38 pm

I know that Google pushes out tons of tweaks every day, and while I appreciate the announcements is it making a lot of DIY SEO site owners very confused. If your site took a hit in the last week or so it's that much more complicated to pinpoint exactly where you went wrong when there are so many things that it could be (that we know of).


10/11/2012 04:52 pm

Not so... Google's original blog post announcement was wrong? I quoted it directly and asked Google for confirmation that you don't have to wait for a refresh to recover. Matt Cutts' response was, "it actually depends on both the re-crawl/reprocessing as well as the offline cycle of computing before then pushing that data." So yes, it's possible to recover before the next update. This is kinda like the "jarring and jolting" thing now, where Cutts is repeatedly misquoted despite many people correcting it... repeating it doesn't make it so! P.S. Top Heavy? LOL

Barry Schwartz

10/11/2012 04:54 pm

Of course the new page needs to be crawled before google runs the algo. Not sure your point.


10/11/2012 05:11 pm

"Well, when I ran a poll in June about recoveries for this update,21% said they did recover - and the only way for them to recover is for Google to push out a refresh OR if they webmaster confused this update with another." Does that not say you can't recover from it unless it's refreshed or updated? In response to Donthe you said, "Those hit by it with the latest update will have to make changes and then wait until the next refresh of Top Heavy." Google has said at the time of the first update and again confirmed that a webmaster can recover from the Page Layout update by making changes and having the site recrawled. That doesn't mean waiting for the next refresh... That's kinda my point.

Barry Schwartz

10/11/2012 05:13 pm

I'm 99% sure you must wait for a data refresh based on my communications with Matt Cutts.


10/11/2012 05:15 pm

Yeah, I kept reading that and it didn't jive with the official Google blog post, so SEW asked him yesterday.


10/11/2012 05:22 pm

Course, there's nothing in at all for Google if everyone stays confused, is there? ;)


10/12/2012 03:35 am

They should hire you huh? Stop spamming dude, get a real job. You are clueless and can;t help anyone.

Mullah Steven

10/12/2012 03:40 am

I love it: Two Google ass-kissing drones fight with each other over Google. What are you biiicthes gonna write after a while, just PPC /Adwords? No one needs to read you anymore.

Sudeep Banerjee

10/12/2012 05:59 am

Well, if there ain't any hypocrisy with this algorithm tweak then YouTube must face the music! Will It..?


10/12/2012 07:58 am

I dream the day when I search for Viagra, the first page research is populated by Youtube, blogspot and other Google properties.

John Brown

10/12/2012 01:03 pm

because that unrelevant serp is really viagra for their adwords.

John Brown

10/12/2012 01:05 pm

why google spamming us with this updates? Looks like now google have everything now - own spammers, cheaters (google dance and patents), liars (m cutts), biggest MFA site, ads above fold, etc...


10/12/2012 04:52 pm

Right now when we search for Viagra @ Goo, there is ONE youtube video (comedy) and 4 "compromised" sites. Bing/Yahoo definitely provides a better search result for Viagra.

John Brown

10/12/2012 05:12 pm

give bing a time (yahoo is powered on bing). After some time them will same greedy as google now.

Ismael Verón

10/12/2012 06:36 pm

This is really contradictory to Google´s income model. If Google penalizes the sites that have more CTR on Ads (since we all know, the upper ads get better CTR), obviously Google will get hurt as well, this means that users will click less on ads.. and G (google, not god) gets less money too...I don´t buy it.

Lennon Brent

10/16/2012 10:20 am

Yes John you are right . when our keywords are going good condition on that time Google born new updates that time our keywords and our sites are go down n down...

Robert Howell

10/19/2012 08:51 pm

I can no longer find what I am looking for. Thank you Google. You were awesome, and now I want you to die. YOU ARE EVIL NOW. PLEASE DIE.


10/20/2012 08:29 pm

Just Fyi I had a site that was hit by the first layout update. It had double blocks of adsense at the top... pretty ridiculous but it made money. Anyways got hit by this algo update, it dropped to 50 for everything. I dropped all ads, and within I would say 4-5 weeks it bounced back to number 1. I dont think it was a refresh of the algo, I think it was just the site was recrawled, things looked on the up and up and the algo reinstated me.

Tumaini Francis

10/29/2012 03:15 pm

I hate what Google is trying to do.

Diana Watson

09/20/2013 06:24 am

Yes the Search for viagra changes each day

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