Remember the original penalty in Google’s page layout algorithm that would penalize pages that were top-heavy in ad content? Well, in case anyone missed that, or in case anyone brushed it off, the Big Goog was serious on this one, so you’d better make it right now!
Essentially, Matt Cutts has announced that Google has refreshed this page layout algorithm.
Additionally, (according to Search Engine Land), this is the third confirmed updated to the “Top Heavy” algorithm, albeit the third in a while:
SEO folks: we recently launched a refresh of this algorithm: http://t.co/KKSXm8FqZW Visible to outside world on ~Feb. 6th.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) February 10, 2014
On the topic of the Page Layout Algorithm, Google continues to point curious readers to their initial page on the subject, on their Inside Search blog. In the meantime, if you’re running ad content “above the fold” (realizing that this term can mean a lot of things on today’s displays), you should likely be shifting that around if at all possible, and focusing on the best possible user experience on your site. External advertising dollars should not be a primary conversion metric for a solid business site!