Why Google Wants Valuable Content Above the Fold Page layout is one of many website design elements that can affect usefulness for both visitors and search engines. This is especially true in light of changes to Google's search algorithms that went into effect throughout 2012 that specifically focused on layout. Designed to respond to complaints that too many higher-ranking websites were mostly advertisements and had little valuable content, Google's 'above the fold' algorithm changes did not negatively affect well-designed internet locations but did make clear how they should be laid out to prevent such a problem. One of the main concepts involves being sure content is placed above the fold where it can be more easily seen by readers and indexers alike. Designing Above the Fold The term 'above the fold' comes from the newspaper publishing trade; it is that upper portion of space above where a standard sized newspaper gets folded and has always received the most attention. This is why headlines and important announcements typically appear in this area - and it shouldn't be any different with website design. The most important content should appear above the fold as well. Since there is no actual fold for a website, this area is considered to be the upper portion that is plainly visible before having to scroll down. When a user clicks onto a page, what is immediately seen on a screen or monitor without having to navigate or scroll is that highly valued above the fold area. It is generally recommended to put featured content in this area to get the most attention. Above the Fold and Page Rank It had become commonplace for some websites to fill featured content area with ads in order to gain more page hits. While this practice did prove to be profitable, it was not a great choice in the eyes of users. Clicking on search results many times brought visitors to a page that was filled with ads, or contained very little useable text because there were no specific means to filter out spam. With the noted changes, Google's algorithms can grade the type of content that is placed on a web page and determine whether or not the most valuable content appears above the fold or not. As a result, well-designed, high value websites have seen an improvement in page rank while sites that are filled with advertisements in highly visible above the fold areas have lost ranking accordingly. Designing for Above the Fold Benefits What this means for web page design is that the above the fold layout is more important than ever. The goal of using such a design method is to catch the attention of Google spiders in a way that demonstrates that a specific internet location is relevant and has useful content that should be rewarded with preferential ranking. These are what Google users need and want to see, so it only makes sense that a better page rank should be given to such websites. When a page is accessed more because it has a better rank and users continue to return for the great content, it is possible to build an even better page rank - and the cycle continues. Of course, the major redesigning of any pages that contain too many advertisements may take some time to achieve; however, it is highly recommended that just such an effort should be done so that all of the web pages are more easily recognized as containing quality content. In Google's continuous effort to reduce the number of spam pages and link farms that are not beneficial for users and reduce a positive search experience, designing with Google's search algorithms in mind stands to be one of the best ways to reach the top of search result listings. An above the fold layout is one of the best ways to present quality content that will be found and used by website visitors and website spiders as well!