Google's Page Layout Algorithm Updated For Third Time

Feb 11, 2014 • 8:34 am | comments (29) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Google Page Layout AlgorithmYesterday, Google's Matt Cutts announced on Twitter that they have pushed out a refresh to the Google Page Layout algorithm on or around February 6th.

He did not specify how much this impacted the search results but based on my analysis of the SEO community, it had a very small impact on most SEOs.

This would be the third update to the page layout algorithm. Since it is just a refresh, it doesn't mean Google updated the algorithm, but rather reran the algorithm and updated it's index. So I doubt Google would classify it version 3.0, but rather 1.2 maybe.

Previous Updates For Google's Page Layout Algorithm Was:

Here is Matt's tweet:

What does it look like when a site gets hit by this? Here is a screen shot from WebmasterWorld of someone who was hit:

click for full size

Again, very few seem to have been impacted by it but there are some and they are complaining in the forum threads I link to below.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld, Google Webmaster Help, Black Hat World and Twitter.

Previous story: Google Webmaster Tools Search Queries Impression Data Drop?


Alexander Hemedinger

02/11/2014 01:58 pm

Another update, hopefully it works for the best.


02/11/2014 02:49 pm

So google can cram ads on their pages to seemingly no end, but normal websites cannot...


02/11/2014 02:58 pm

Apparently, their users tell them that they don´t like to see adds above the fold. Perhaps they are confusing their users with our users. Their users are the ones using search. Full of ads above the fold. Our users are the users that arrive on our site from Search.


02/11/2014 03:04 pm

I like how on the Google Browser Size tool, you can't view Typical do as I say not as I do.


02/11/2014 03:25 pm

google to forget to penalize their search engine for ads above fold. isn't liars?

Durant Imboden

02/11/2014 03:52 pm

Are you seeing Google SERPs listed in Google's organic results?


02/11/2014 04:06 pm

They are not liars. Google simply has the advantage of knowing its own code. Google knows the limits until what degree ad's can be pushed above the fold and Google simply pushes its ad's right to the limit so that it won't penalize itself. Good luck finding that limit! Some might say it's unfair (and it is) but everyone with Google's power would do the same.

Durant Imboden

02/11/2014 05:05 pm

I'd be interested in seeing real-life examples of pages whose rankings have been hurt by the Page Layout Algorithm. For the search queries that I watch, the results are "same old, same old," with many of the highest-ranked pages having two or more large ads above the fold on a 1024 x 768 screen.


02/11/2014 05:30 pm

Don´t be ridiculous. Nobody has ever seen WMT or YouTude listed in organic. Why would google ever list Youtube and WMT in organic? You must be insane even thinking that way.

Durant Imboden

02/11/2014 05:41 pm

"YouTude?" I think you're the guy with the 'tude. :-)

Nick Ker

02/11/2014 08:20 pm

I just searched for "best search engine" and was not showing near the top. I guess this algorithm update works and everyone can quit whining about how unfair Google is. ;-)

Viv (Kala) Williams

02/11/2014 08:37 pm

I"ve noticed this on my new website that was doing really well, in competitive niche. But I dont' have ads. After bit of time in WMW, few folks think not just ads but like a slider with images is being penalized. THat's what I have header then 1 H1 text, and slider of images with bit of text imbedded. Then 3 more images-whose alt tags don't even show, so most text is below fold really. I think that's why I've seen such a drop off in traffic it's quite dramatic. But now I dont' know if I should wait and see if it's sorts itslef out. I really like my page layout and for human eyes it's readable and clear.


02/11/2014 09:41 pm

Ha. Looks like Google thinks that ixquick, yahoo, duckduckgo, and bing are the best (in that order) when searching for "search engine". Everybody start using ixquick!.... Holy crap we'd be doing well if everyone used ixquick.....

Random Guy

02/12/2014 12:16 am

What's your website?


02/12/2014 01:23 am

"like a slider with images is being penalized" omg ) You're an artist. Why do business you have no clue about ? I still can't understand, why almost everyone on this planet thinks, that s/he can run web business ... P.S. Forget about Google, if this is not business for you. Do what you (not Google) want. Be an artist.

Soni Sharma

02/12/2014 05:17 am

I haven't noticed any major impact in search results after this update.

Vibhu Gauba

02/12/2014 08:55 am

We have to not seen any downward trend for any of our clients. But one thing for sure that google has become more fluctuating recently. I did see lots of jumping here and there.

Patti Paz

02/12/2014 12:57 pm

Why don't you just write what's on your mind??

Viv (Kala) Williams

02/12/2014 09:28 pm

Hey random guy, can I email you.


02/13/2014 09:15 am

what is its effect....plz tell me

Vaishnav Kumar

02/13/2014 11:44 am

We were checking from 3-4 days our search queries are getting down, now it gets clear .......

Vaishnav Kumar

02/13/2014 11:48 am

We Hope Hope it will get fixed soon........


02/13/2014 05:46 pm

Interesting. My site also had an image slider and got effed up by Google. It will be interesting what happens next week. If site still down, i will try removing the slider and see what happens.


02/13/2014 07:09 pm

I have the same problem, my site was punished and it also had a slider (i just removed it). I guess it's time to wait and see what happens.

Bryan Knowlton

02/13/2014 10:58 pm

Hey Barry! We discussed this on our daily podcast. Thanks for sharing!!


02/15/2014 01:19 am

After reading the comments below, i went and checked both my wordpress blogs with a slider on each one, and the slider with the pictures with alt text related to site, just took a nose dive in traffic to almost nothing, the other site with no alt text in the images is doing its normal traffic with no dips. So the website with the alt text in the slider might be the reason why in serpbooks, it just went from 1st page to 6th page.

Andy Lighter

02/28/2014 05:04 am

BINGO!!! The hypocrisy is so rank with the big silicone valley companies. "Some pigs are more equal than other pigs" rings true (Animal Farm). They can fill their first page of results with ads, but us lowly webmasters can't - total fucking bullshit!!! If we have the content and the answers for the searchers we should be able to run whatever page layout we want. Fuck them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


03/12/2014 10:15 pm

Wow great to see but extremely scary to look forward for the Summer 2014 after investing a time creating content and building links. Hope everyone is safe Would like to invite you to hope over to and drop a line and share your experience about the SEO.

Miguel Araujo

03/19/2014 10:04 pm

one of mi site was down but the other are ok Saludos

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