{{ searchResult.published_at | date:'d MMMM yyyy' }}

Loading ...
Loading ...

Enter a search term such as “mobile analytics” or browse our content using the filters above.

No_results

That’s not only a poor Scrabble score but we also couldn’t find any results matching “”.
Check your spelling or try broadening your search.

Logo_distressed

Sorry about this, there is a problem with our search at the moment.
Please try again later.

Google's efforts to improve its SERPs are no secret. From Panda to Freshness, Google's strategy can be summed up briefly: filter out the junk, promote quality and relevance.

When it comes to the former, Google may be considering an interesting approach: penalize pages that it believes have too many ads.

Speaking at the Pubcon conference, Google's Matt Cutts revealed that the search giant is experimenting with algorithms that would look at the ads on a page and determine whether they're harming the quality of the page.

According to Search Engine Land, Cutts explained, "If you have ads obscuring your content, you might want to think about it. Do [your users] see content or something else that’s distracting or annoying?"

It's a good question. Most of us have encountered pages filled where the advertising is more prominent than the content. It usually produces a disappointing experience, so there's good argument for Google to start looking at the interaction between content and ads on web pages.

But its experiment does raise a huge question: what about AdSense ads? AdSense ads are, after all, everywhere, and they generate billions of dollars in revenue for Google every year.

Obviously, some publishers place their AdSense ads more elegantly than others. For those with great rankings and poor placements, can Google really be expected to issue a penalty?

Google really has no incentive to financially. But given the scrutiny the company is under these days, one would expect it to be smart enough to tread carefully. Assuming it does, it will not be surprising if Google scraps this experiment, or rolls it out in a very subtle way.

Patricio Robles

Published 10 November, 2011 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

2401 more posts from this author

Comments (1)

Avatar-blank-50x50

Innes

I honestly think google should go back to being about relevant and quality content. It is annoying when you go onto a website in which you are trying to find something and the advertising is cluttering the web page and further complicating what you see.

almost 5 years ago

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Daily_pulse_signup_wide

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Daily Pulse newsletter. Each weekday, you ll receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.