39% Traffic Drop with Google Page Layout Panda Update
Last week there seems to be another Google Panda Update where in the blogs which were having many advertisements when compared to content were penalized and we also saw a huge drop in our blogs traffic. There were always speculations that blogs which has many ad units when compared to the content would get penalized but there was no clear figure on how much % should be there. We initially thought that there was some issue with the server the very first day but since the traffic decreased went down everyday, we found that this is not a normal issue and same was confirmed on QOT which also has the same experience.
Last year many blogs had reported that Google will soon come up with an update on this and they would penalize all the blogs which would have more ads over content and this has finally been applied. Here is a screenshot of our blog’s traffic stats which clearly states that the traffic has gone down drastically and there is no update from Official Google Team on this.
We always have had a ad unit below the blog post titles and also on the sidebar which was of 300×250 ad size, but thanks to the suggestions from Google Adsense Team, we have had also implemented a Google Ad Unit of 728×90 next to logo which seem to have created this issue, because that counted the total number of ads above the fold to 3 which infact gives a bad reader experience. Hence in order to fix this we have removed the ad next to the logo and tried to move the 300×250 ad almost below the fold.
As of now you can check out the Browser Size tool from google which gives you a clear representation on how many ads would a ready see when they are on a specific browser resolution and this is the tool which clearly shows you that most of the readers who have resolution less than 800px always see a higher percentage of your advertisements and not your blog content, which is a very bad user experience. Hence in order to fix this you need to move all the ads below the fold if possible or try to create a better balance in this to ensure that you don’t get this penalty.
We will keep you updated on how we will be fixing this panda update and the progress on the same. In case we find some interesting stuff we will post about the same. Meanwhile its suggested for you to remove all the advertisements from your blogs which don’t pay you much like the Infolinks or Kontera ad units because they are just killing the reader experience and just make it look like an Made for Ads site.
Update : If you check out the below stats graph you would find that the traffic was back and this could be probably because the automatic algo would have scanned the blog for changes and the traffic / rankings would have been set back to the previous ones.
You can also read the following comments where other users have also made a few changes to their blog layouts and found that the traffic is actually increasing when you reduce the ads above the fold.