Most of us have landed on Web pages that aren’t helpful, or are confusing and make it difficult to find the content we want. The content is either buried by ads, large images, lists of links or a combination of those things.
Yesterday, Google announced a new change to their search algorithm that focuses on page layouts and how users find the content they need on websites. It’s really not a new concept for Google – they have always been a strong advocate for user experience. This change benefits content pages that put the content first and any advertisements or secondary images below the fold.
Some takeaway items from this change:
- Page layouts that center around content and user experience will help you in organic search rankings. Depending on the quality of your page layout, you may notice your search rankings shift over a period of time.
- Make sure your content pages are user-focused. Users want answers to their questions – so make sure each page focuses on those answers.
- Be aware of design decisions. Make sure content takes center stage. It’s easy to get caught up in what a design looks like, but how functional is it for the end-user?
- Google says this affects less than 1% of search queries performed. It’s a small change to a very complex process, but still worth noting.
Overall, this is a minor change to the search algorithm that Google uses. According to yesterday’s blog post from Google, Google will also release over 500 other improvements in 2012.
Keep your focus on the user and you’ll likely enjoy some benefit when it comes to search engine rankings.