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    Below the fold SEO


    I've noticed a lack of "Below the fold" SEO sites in the serps these days.

    By below the fold I mean sites where you have a nicely designed site filling the screen with about half a ton of text below the screen area for the Search Engines.

    Just wondering are these now considered Black hat by G, filtered out or just unfashionable?
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    Originally Posted by Kain
    I've noticed a lack of "Below the fold" SEO sites in the serps these days.

    By below the fold I mean sites where you have a nicely designed site filling the screen with about half a ton of text below the screen area for the Search Engines.

    Just wondering are these now considered Black hat by G, filtered out or just unfashionable?
    Good question. I posted a similar question in another forum recently as I have lots of pages where text is displayed below lots of images. By changing the page layout to integrate text between the images I noticed a nice boost in the SERPS in 2-3 weeks.

    The problem is that I made other changes to linking structures in the same time period so I am not sure how to be an objective reporter on the issue. It seemed to help, but is impossible to directly quantify.

    Most sites with lots of content - 450+ words per page + features, images etc. - could not possibly show all relevant content "above the fold". Take seochat.com for example. Tons of relevant homepage content - most of which is "below the fold" (which comes pretty quickly by endusers at 800x600).

    I believe (though I'm certainly not an expert) that the algorhithm assesses the relationship between elements on your page. If they seem out of whack (all text is depressed below 20-30 images or below the main table the structures the page) it would make sense that the algo could detect something out of balance (and penalize the page for it).

    At the same time - with the advent of css positioning using layers - it would be increasingly difficult to algorhithmically assess the position of elements on a page - because you could float text below other elements and have it appear first in your source. To the best of my knowledge Google still does not assess stylesheets (I could be mistaken here - please correct me if I'm wrong, but the FAQs seem to support my assertion).

    Sorry - that we not have been very helpful, but let us know if you experiment with this concept.

    Comments on this post

    • googler agrees : good general explaination
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    Originally Posted by sparrowhawk
    Good question. I posted a similar question in another forum recently as I have lots of pages where text is displayed below lots of images. By changing the page layout to integrate text between the images I noticed a nice boost in the SERPS in 2-3 weeks.

    The problem is that I made other changes to linking structures in the same time period so I am not sure how to be an objective reporter on the issue. It seemed to help, but is impossible to directly quantify.

    Most sites with lots of content - 450+ words per page + features, images etc. - could not possibly show all relevant content "above the fold". Take seochat.com for example. Tons of relevant homepage content - most of which is "below the fold" (which comes pretty quickly by endusers at 800x600).

    I believe (though I'm certainly not an expert) that the algorhithm assesses the relationship between elements on your page. If they seem out of whack (all text is depressed below 20-30 images or below the main table the structures the page) it would make sense that the algo could detect something out of balance (and penalize the page for it).

    At the same time - with the advent of css positioning using layers - it would be increasingly difficult to algorhithmically assess the position of elements on a page - because you could float text below other elements and have it appear first in your source. To the best of my knowledge Google still does not assess stylesheets (I could be mistaken here - please correct me if I'm wrong, but the FAQs seem to support my assertion).

    Sorry - that we not have been very helpful, but let us know if you experiment with this concept.
    I always feel that the further up in your code you can make your main content the more weight is applied to it. using div and layers with css positioning you can make anything anywhere. I dont think Google reads external css yet. But they will soon.
    I dont see how they could penalize a site for using css however. It just wouldn't make any sense, CSS has so many powerful styling features that there would be no way for Google to decide whether its being positioned for SEO or for usability, etc.
    Minus the obvious, like making text the same color as the body background, but even this doent mean you are "cheating the engines" What if you had a blue body background and a div that was yellow and you used css to position some blue text over the yellow div. See what I mean? Google would be getting into some shady territory if it started penalizing css, unless it had a human review a site before any ban/penalty took place.
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