The Impact of Advertising on Search Engine Rankings and Website Visitors
Google has made another change to how its search engine works. If you own a website, it’s good to be aware that all search engines make changes like this regularly. They don’t always tell us when they’ve done it though, or what they’ve done, or what will be affected. This is one of the times they’ve told us.
If you haven’t subscribed to Google’s Official Search blog “Insider Search”, point your RSS feeds there now. (If you aren’t sure what an RSS feed, you can learn what an RSS feed is here.)
For most of you who have ads located at the upper areas of your site, this is probably not an issue. Google has made this change primarily to impact sites that are almost nothing but ads. You’ve probably seen them before: you click a search result on Google and end up on a page that has a ton of advertising and nothing looked like what Google said it was.
If you do have a site that is more advertising that useful content, or are considering it, rethink it. You’re considered a spammer by search engines. You think this is going to be fast cash, but a web page of nothing but ads is probably not going to make you a lot of money. Odds are good that to do that successfully, you’ll need more time, know-how, and money than you have to start with.
For the rest of you, if you plan to cram more advertising on your site, especially to be “above the fold,” weigh that carefully. As it is, advertising slows your site down, and page load times impact your Google rankings as well.
Also, remember that one of the points of a website is to have people come to it, stay on it (and want to be there), and come back later. If your site is too ad-heavy, website visitors may hit the back button before the page loads up. At the very least, they may decide coming back isn’t something they want to do again.
Another important thing to consider is this: just because the page loads quickly on your computer doesn’t mean it does the same for all your visitors. Some are still on dial-up. What about your smart phone visitors? Have you ever looked at your site on your phone?
So consider your ads carefully. Are you making enough off of them to warrant the number of them, the size of them, and their location? Or is it time to consider if you have other, more important goals for your site, such as selling a service or product?