Got a lot of ads on your website? Google‘s new search algorithm, which looks for sites that maintain a good balance of content and ads, could automatically filter it out of search results pages. The change comes after complaints of searches regularly turning up sites that favor bulky ads over the content.
The search engine will show more high-quality websites by downgrading pages that display too many ads, according to a blog post from Google engineer Matt Cutts. High-quality sites will also be rewarded, encouraging “a healthy web ecosystem.”
Google, though, is already coming under fire for the changes. Some say its own site sometimes favors ad results. One example — see the video above — shows how a search for “Blu-Ray DVDs” turns up sidebar links to stores, supported personalized ads, shopping results, plus advertisement links that deflect from real content that users may be looking for.
The change, Google’s Cutts notes, will affect less than 1% of global queries or less than 1 in 100 searches. The new algorithm will reduce rankings for low-value ads and sites deemed less useful.
Afraid your site will be affected? Google suggests cleaning up obscure content with the help of its Browser Size tool, plus screen resolution emulators to see how users will see your webpage on different devices.