Whatchu talkin’ bout Google?

By: John Elder posted in Adsense

Hello good people!

Welcome to the weekend! It’s shaping up to be a pretty good one here in Chicago, the sun came out and it warmed up a little bit. Going out for Cuban food tonight, which I’ve never had before…should be fun!

I hate to write another one of these articles, because it gets old – I know – but it seems that Google may be up to something again that will directly threaten everything we Adsense publishers do.

I know, it doesn’t make sense for them to effectively strangle their own single largest cash cow (The Adsense/Adwords program) but here they go again…

What is it THIS time?

The drama began at Pubcon, which is a big search engine and social marketing type industry conference/expo that’s sort of a big deal, and it’s been going on for the last week in Vegas.

Matt Cutts spoke there for Google, and had some disturbing things to say. If you aren’t aware of Matt, do a google search…his video’s are everywhere. Officially he’s the head of Google’s Webspam team…so he’s the one we tend to hear from most often.

The thing is, no one’s really ever sure how much of Matt’s gibberish is true or not. He’s in charge of web spam, but it’s never clear how much actual authority that position holds inside Google itself.

Right or wrong, I tend to think of Google as lots of little walled off kingdoms…you’ve got the engineers who work on the algorithms, you’ve got the webspam team, you’ve got the adwords team, the adsense team, the mobile team etc.

Supposedly Cutts doesn’t speak to the Adsense team. Which can cause some embarrassing overlaps and strange situations to occur from time to time. More on that later…

Get back to the point man!

Right. Anyway, at Pubcon Cutts announced that placing ads above the fold on a web page would begin to effect search engine rankings negatively.


No, you read that right…if you put ads anywhere near the top of your web page, Google will begin to determine you must be a spammer and therefore take away your high search engine rankings.

It seems insane…but those were the words that came out of his jolly mouth.

Here’s some of his exact quotes:

“…what are the things that really matter, how much content is above the fold…”

“…If you have ads obscuring your content, you might want to think about it…”

“…Do they see content or something else that’s distracting or annoying…”

What’s my take on it?

I think this is one of those times that Matt just doesn’t really know what he’s talking about. Or someone from the Adsense team will tell him to stop talkin gibberish whenever he gets back to his office.

I find it inconceivable to believe that Google will start penalizing us for having ads on our sites above the fold. (Above the fold refers to the part of your website that can be seen on a computer screen before having to scroll down – it’s a reference to the old newspapers that you actually folded in the middle).

What I think is going on here is that Google will begin to look at websites that have a ton of ads scattered all over the place, in a blatant attempt to over ad a reader. We all know how many ads is “too many”, I mean really…you know spam when you see it, kinda like porn.

I have one ad block above the fold of every web page I own. I don’t think Google will ever believe that’s spam.

Can you say Double-Standard?

The funniest thing about all this is the pure hypocrisy involved. I mean really, go to Google and do a search for anything. Almost everything you see above the fold on the search engine results page is an ad of some sort. I guess it’s a case of “do as we say, not as we do!”. But they’re big brother – they can do that I guess!

But like everything, I’ll have to keep watching and see what develops. They always keep us jumping, that’s for sure!! In the mean time, I suggest you all…

Keep on building!

The Marketing Fool!

John Elder is an Entrepreneur, Web Developer, and Writer with over 21 years experience creating & running some of the most interesting websites on the Internet. Contact him here.

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