Turn Off Ads to Restore Ranking?

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  1. eugbug profile image94
    eugbugposted 6 weeks ago

    My top traffic article which used to get 2000 views per day for years has now dropped further down the rankings from its featured spot on Google and traffic is now around 60 views per day. If I turn off ads so people can actually read it and get past the "content continues below" barrier and the multitude of other ads at the top and this increases traffic without readers leaving early, would that make Google improve the ranking? Does future ranking depend on current traffic?

    1. Venkatachari M profile image82
      Venkatachari Mposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

      I know nothing about rankings except that quality drags the audience. If my articles are niche and useful for the readers, then they should rank high. Ads can frustrate readers but they can't be the reason to leave the site abruptly. That is what I believe.

      1. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
        PaulGoodman67posted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

        This theory only works where your definition of "quality" corresponds with Google's definition.

        However, Google's definition tends to be very different from the human definition because it essentially arrives via an algorithm, which is mathematical.

        Google's definition of "quality" also regularly changes. Every time the algorithm updates, there's essentially a different definition of "quality" being judged and enforced.

        1. Venkatachari M profile image82
          Venkatachari Mposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

          I agree with you, Paul. The definition of quality is tricky as long as Google holds the reins. I am looking at it only through my perceptions of quality.

    2. JerryFisher profile image93
      JerryFisherposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

      Problem seems to be that Google are penalising the entire HP niche, whatever it may be, and in my opinion, the only way to restore decent ranking would be if the majority of writers in the niche turned the ads off on their articles. I don't think a single article without ads would cut it for them.

      When you put the niche into Semrush you can see the overall collapse over the last two years.

    3. Kenna McHugh profile image92
      Kenna McHughposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

      You might have seen this on another forum posted. Will posted it: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/2024 … r-internet

      1. JerryFisher profile image93
        JerryFisherposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

        Well that article was interesting reading. So I immediately threw a relevant  link each of Reddit, Quora and Wiki onto articles of mine that had fallen off a cliff and did see a small jump in traffic - but that could have been for other reasons out of my control.

        Just as immediately I had an email from HP saying one by one the articles had been snipped - the removal of these links. HP said they no longer allow links back from network sites. I'd agree with them if the link is not relevant but all those sites sometimes have very relevant information in connection to whatever your article is (as was the case with my links) so maybe a poor broad decision on HP's part.

        If they had of read the BBC article maybe they could of seen the relevance to higher ratings through these links?

        Anyway, just posting this as a warning in case anyone else thought of the same idea. I was told try it again and your articles will be back on HP.

        1. Kenna McHugh profile image92
          Kenna McHughposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

          Jerry, Interesting. It seems we can't do anything proactive. HP rules, so we can't blame ourselves. Now we can. I wish I knew how HP/TAG plans to handle this situation with Google.

          1. JerryFisher profile image93
            JerryFisherposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

            Don't we all Kenna - In my opinion TAG under weighty expensive administration haven't found a solution so far, and I guess to be fair according to your BBC article, neither has anyone else.

            Reddit and Quoro that I've very seldom gone on due to so much poorly researched information and personal opinion must be beaming that Google see them as the shining lights in Google search. Quite unbelievable.

            I felt so sorry reading about genuine review companies facing going down the gurgler as their thorough and honest research is no longer valued nearly as much as Reddit!

            And you're right. I think we've all tried everything HP has suggested - regular editing etc but still the views slip away. I wrote a new article a few months ago as an experiment for Google as I'd read they wanted shorter to the point articles. So I wrote about 1800 words on something I know a lot about and about a week later it was picked up by an HP editor. They changed quite a lot of it and I was okay with that as I thought I was in the arms of an SEO expert - but that article gets single figure views each day. So like others are saying - why bother.

            Looks like Google are going to be dependent on their search AI which already is pulling in some disastrous but hilarious results.

            An AP reporter asked Google a few days ago if cats have been on the moon. Answer: "Yes, astronauts have met cats on the moon, played with them and provided care."

            1. Venkatachari M profile image82
              Venkatachari Mposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

              Hi, Jerry! I am full of smiles at your joke "Cats on Moon".

              1. JerryFisher profile image93
                JerryFisherposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

                Yes Venkatachari. Let’s hope for many more, to make Google hide their head in shame.
                I would imagine and hope after that cat got out of the bag that they’ll be some programmers working overtime manipulating the AI search results to create more great headlines.
                A great opportunity for Bing and DuckDuckGo.

                1. Venkatachari M profile image82
                  Venkatachari Mposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

                  Yes, let us hope for good to happen.

            2. Kenna McHugh profile image92
              Kenna McHughposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

              Jerry, Where's the crystal ball when we need it the most right now?

              1. Gregory DeVictor profile image96
                Gregory DeVictorposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

                Kenna, I'm sure that you've heard the article expression that trouble never comes at a convenient time.

                1. Kenna McHugh profile image92
                  Kenna McHughposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

                  True, Gregory. It's how you handle the trouble that matters.

    4. Gregory DeVictor profile image96
      Gregory DeVictorposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

      During the spring of 2023, I turned off the ads for my 10 lowest performing articles for about three months. I also maintained a spreadsheet that showed the number of daily page views per article. I also did a lot of this work on a third-party computer, and not on my home-based Chromebook or phone.

      I am quite sure as well that Google quickly or eventually became aware of the "pattern" of SEO-related work that I was doing. But I kept plugging away on the project anyways.

      Keep in mind as well that about five of the lowest-performing articles were newer ones that had been published from December 2022 forward. One article on the list was published in September 2018 and has always done poorly.

      Here is what happened with this project both early on and over one year later.

      During the three months when the HP ads were turned off, my overall page views per article changed imperceptibly. Yes, imperceptibly.

      My bounce rate remained about the same as well during the three month period.

      Over one year later, three of the articles are among my better-performing ones, and two sometimes receive hundreds of daily page views apiece.

      My bounce rate now is somewhat better than it was a year ago. Still, I believe that the adverts are playing a role in our overall bounce rates. (Some of my biggest online competitors do not have the proliferation of ads on their webpages like we do. I wonder what kind of bounce rates they have.)

      The poorly-performing article that was published in September 2018 is now my lowest performing article, and receives a dismal 1-5 daily page views.

      Keep in mind as well that a multiplicity of factors over and above and beyond the pesky adverts could have influenced how well or poorly these articles have done.

      Plus, AI is not helping the traffic equation either in terms of what I am now seeing in Google's organic search results.

  2. Genna East profile image83
    Genna Eastposted 6 weeks ago

    Thank you for posting this inquiry.  I've noticed the same thing, and was wondering if turning off ads would help.  I've actually received emails from readers complaining about the ad placements, and not in flattering terms.
    Thanks for link, Kenna.

    1. Glenis Rix profile image95
      Glenis Rixposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

      I occasion turn off ads on a selection of my articles. My overall earnings decrease slightly but they are already minimal nowadays so it doesn’t bother me. I am sure my readers are happier when they don’t have to scroll past numerous ads that break up the flow of the article. I have read the BBC article that Kenna posted a link for. It seems, anyway, from the quote by Google that is in the article, once Google starts to generate AI produced articles, content farms, whose sole purpose is to generate income from ads, will be eventually squeezed out. ( Incidentally, I recently put an item that I want to sell on Vinted- my description was quite evidently rewritten using AI- and was much more enticing than my effort. From this example of the quality of text written by AI, you might draw your own conclusions re the future ranking of our articles by search engines when they are competing against those written by artificial intelligence).

    2. Kenna McHugh profile image92
      Kenna McHughposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

      You're welcome, Genna. If anything, the article indicates that no matter how well-written the article is, Google doesn't care. It's all about the oh-might-dollar, not the value of the content.

  3. Venkatachari M profile image82
    Venkatachari Mposted 6 weeks ago

    There is only one way left. Keep tricking the AI by employing your personal experiences and experiments on content

 
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