Some publishers may see some dramatic drop on their search traffic in last few hours. If you are one of them them let me tell you that you are a victim of Page Layout Algorithm Improvement which Google rolled out yesterday 19th January. With this update Google is targeting to improve web-site layout on the web. How? The answer is simple. If your page layout is user friendly and provides better user experience your site will perform better in Google Search Result.
So what is user friendly interface for Google?
Don’t worry it is simple too. According to Google “Rather than scrolling down the page past a slew of ads, users want to see content right away.” You got it, right? User does not want to see lots of ads on “above the fold(the visible area of a page without scrolling)” and so doesn’t Google. To give better user experience you have to redesign your site so that user can see “the content” right on the landing area.
Here is an example image of a bad and better layout.
So remove excess amount of ads from the landing area of a page and relax. This update won’t hurt you. If hadn’t yet do it now. On next crawl on your pages if Google thinks you are providing enough content above the fold then your site will rank on the top back again. The result may start reflecting within hours if you have the authority.
As Matt Cutts reported on official Google Webmaster Central blog – “This change is just one of the over 500 improvements we expect to roll out to search this year.” If you have overcame this update then there are 499 more to go this year. Give us some rest Google.