It may be remembered back in January 19, 2012, that a refresh of its Page Layout Filter was announced by Google. This update affected 1% of all English language searches. On the 9th of October, Google’s Matt Cutts declared via his Twitter account that they have formally updated the page layout algorithm. The second Top Heavy update affected 0.7% of current English language searches. This update was called Top Heavy because it penalizes existing websites that are top-heavy with advertising.
With just few weeks between update intervals, Google has made four consecutive updates since September 27, 2012 wherein they have launched the 20th Panda Update followed by the EMD Update on September 28. Days after, they launched the 3rd Penguin Update – and now, the Top Heavy Update.
According to Matt Cutts, who heads Google’s web spam team, this update can affect English-language queries, because some users complain that they find it hard to see the real content. These users further complained that every time they click on a result during an active web search, the ads present at the top of ranking web pages created confusion. Therefore, this change is intended for the users to see the most relevant content right away. Google says that they cannot completely remove all the ads because they help publishers earn on their online content. Sites that place ads to a normal degree should not worry because they will not be affected by this algorithmic change, however, those that place ads to an excessive point will likely be negatively affected.
Just like the Panda Update, Google is analyzing sites that have too many ads and those that have just enough ads. A site with too many ads will definitely decrease its ranking. If you would like to see the changes that have been made by the recent Top Heavy update, you can try searching for a set of keywords to check out the volatility, in which pages rank on a daily basis.Read more about Bergstrom-seo.
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Top Heavy 2: Google’s refresh of its Page Layout Filter