When I am looking at other web sites and the first thing that pops up is an advertisement (above the fold) I usually bounce out of that page and go find something else to read. I am sure I am not the only one to do so. I would like to propose that HP do an experiment and publish 100 or 1000 hubs with no advertisement above the fold. The advertisement below the first photo should stay, however, as a means of making income.
1. Are readers who do not find excessive ads likely to stay longer?
2. Is there any increase in clicks or decrease in clicks to google ads with or without the ads?
3. Will google give higher ratings to hubs that do not have excessive advertising? (The forums have been busy with older Hubbers complaining about decreasing page views; would this be a method whereby you could retain more older Hubbers?)
Ideally the same hub could be published with both ads above the fold half of the time, and without half of the time, and you would be able to compare them.
If you find that the ads above the fold are not working, and do not increase ad revenue, it would be better to stop them. HP would make more money if more people click further down on the page instead of bouncing to another site. If HP is making more money they can pay their writers for more money. If google is seeing a better response to their ads on HP they will be more likely to featue Hubs. Everybody wins.
This experiment would be to your benefit. Please look into it.
DrMark1961, since my hubs were hit by the update at the end of September, I have read everything I can find about Penguin and Panda, and a general consensus is that Google penalises excessive ads above the fold. Here's a extract from Google itself that says as much:
"If you click on a website and the part of the website you see first either doesn’t have a lot of visible content above-the-fold or dedicates a large fraction of the site’s initial screen real estate to ads, that’s not a very good user experience. Such sites may not rank as highly going forward."
The whole article is here:
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot. … ement.html
So that definitely clears up point number 3. I think if HP stops this advertising above the fold (and puts ads only lower on the page) they will not be losing so many older Hubbers. It has to be better for their bottom line, and I am almost positive no one is clicking on those ads anyway.
DrMark - this was brilliant. The loss of income will definitely drive the great writers to other sites. I put my heart into every hub I write and rarely spend less than a couple of hours on a hub. The financial reward is almost insulting. I can spend 30 minutes on another site I write for and even though I despise the content, I can make a decent living. HP needs to listen to those writers that are making the grade here. As proven in the earlier post, Google is not going to support HP with the ads above the fold. It doesn't get any more clear. Thanks for bringing this to the attention of HP and the hubbers and, for offering a solution.
Yes, but... a hub with a decent intro and a photo offset to the right, only shows the one Google add, which isn't what that quote says. It certainly isn't a 'large fraction'.
HP earns from advertising and clicks on those ads from external traffic. Remove that first, quite modest advert, and HP has less chance of earning from it.
But if HP does earn from advertising and clicks of those ads from external traffic, isnt traffic going to increase if the ad is further down the page? I have read numerous times that an Ebay or Amazon ad must be in the middle of an article to get "hits"; isnt it the same with google ads? Should they not just worry about putting them at the top of the page?
Thanks for your comment lrc7515. I know you and I both have enjoyed meeting others here on HP, and I think a financial incentive needs to be there too. We need to pay for our dog food bills, right?
Only if the article is sufficiently well-written and interesting enough to encourage a viewer to stay on the page and scroll down in the first place
Edit: The advert is only right at the top of the page, if the writer fails to provide a decent intro photo.
Usually the people clicking on the adds are the ones that were interested enough to go farther down in the article. I tried telling you that ads above the fold will hurt your traffic but someone theraggededge thought my advice was dumb. Hmmm not that others feel the same and google has announced that if you have ads above the fold means less traffic I wonder if my advice is still dumb lol hahaha
I didn't use the word 'dumb'. But yes, pushing the single Google ad down, that takes up less than a quarter of the viewable page above the fold (in a properly laid out hub with an intro + photo) would seem to defeat the purpose. You have to remember that the articles we write merely provide a vehicle for Google ads.
I wrote long enough for Demand Studios to understand that the article is the tree on which the Google bauble hangs. Of course, it can be overdone, but HP/Google's little advert is probably not a factor in the traffic decline.
lol right back at ya, kiddo.
I think this needs to be an issue. What do other writing sites do? One site has ads above fold, but Google loves that site. Maybe it is a political issue. We can look at our own article's layouts and see if they do well, have good placement. Paul keeps saying it is all about content. We can hopefully find some answers. Our brains must already be on overload.
Hubpages doesn't use ads above the fold excessively, you can see the content clearly.
There are tons of other sites that have more ads yet they perfom just fine.
Anyway, Google makes a ton of money from those ads and you can bet that if every site shifted the ads downwards then they would lose out big time. Google is only after the worst offenders with the Page Layout Penalty, the sites that put zero or very little content above the fold.
Anyway if HP moved all the ads down, it wouldn't be worth spending time as a writer on this site. I have my own sites and have done lot's of testing with Adsense, if placed below the fold the CTR is awful.
Loss of traffic for some hubbers must be due to another factor, IMO.
In my opinion, the ads are excessive and prominent enough to turn me away (from sites displaying similar ads). Why would it not be worth spending time on this site if the ads were moved down? (I think eHow has ads lower down, and many other sites.) Would the click rate really be so low as to eliminate our income from HP?
I really appreciate your answer. Thanks.
The ads above the fold even though HP doesnt do it excessively will still hurt to traffic. That's why the new panda update is messing everyone up and their money situation. Looks like it'll be less money if you have ads higher up in the article because you wont get as much traffic.
What ads are Google now? If you have HP ads, they said some marked Google are really HP. Will someone clear that up. I know there is a diagram.
The ads have nothing to do with traffic loss.
Just have a look at any page 1 results in Google, and most if not all have plenty of ads above the fold.
If you don't like that top right ad on HP, just write a short intro, about 100 words should do it, then add a full-size photo below it.
The top ad will now be half-way down the page
If you sign out and look at your hub you will see a big band of ads along the top (you can't see them while signed in) that are there anyway.
When Google announced they didn't like ads above the fold, they were talking about the spam sites that had nothing but ads above the fold.
Usually these sites didn't have much below the fold either.
Thanks for your contribution, Izzy. Whether or not Google likes the ads above the fold (those that you cannot get rid of and only appear when you are not signed in), as a person browsing the web I find these types of ad annoying and will not bother reading a page that starts out with only advertisements. I do not think I am alone in this. For that reason I think HP should do an experiment and find out if hubs without those ads actually earn more revenue than those that are over-advertised (that have that big band along the top).
I do not know if this has anything to do with traffic loss. Maybe not, but I do not think this is the issue. If HP makes more money each time a page is viewed they may pay authors more per 1000 impressions. That would not solve your traffic loss problem (or Bards, or Marisa´s) but it would help.
I don't think an ad above the fold in itself has any implications for traffic or google. It is, however, the ad I make most often money off on my own pages
It's the ad that everyone makes most, if not all, of their money from. The higher the ad is on the page, the more money you get for impressions and clicks.
This part isn't for psycheskinner, but for pretty much everyone else. You need to go look up exactly what above the fold is, and obviously how bots see any page they look at. Also, from the looks of it, the definition of the word excessive.
Basically moving around ads, specifically at the top, will not improve traffic, but it will drive down income. Not trying to sound mean, but if you don't like how internet content is setup to make money, stop writing for webpages and write ebooks instead.
IMO Its the ad below, and to the right of the title, which is the most important. The best IMO is to not have a huge image as the first capsule, but to have an introductory text capsule of around 120 words, so this ad appear above the fold, but there is lots of text next to it.
The whole point of the question, sapper, was to find out if removing those ads would be better for HP and thus for the writers. If some people already know this answer, such as psycheskinner, that is great. Removing the ads was not a suggestion to stop writing for ads and write ebooks instead. It was a question that I thought might help both HP and the writers on the site.
And I'm saying it will hurt. Getting less money per visitor will hurt everyone, HP and writers. What I'm saying is they didn't just throw together a layout, they picked it for a reason.
As far as your question below, you can track that with Google Analytics, but you have to set it up first.
https://support.google.com/analytics/bi … ;ctx=topic
Thanks for that input, psycheskinner. Are you able to tell with webmaster tools (or some other program) which ad is clicked on the most?
Some writing sites with good traffic have no ads above fold.
I wish I was more knowledgeable about layouts and ads. We rely on our friends here to help us understand.
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