Website Design for Search Engine Optimization

Google makes me laugh.

Apparently they name their updates silly things like:

a) The Farmer Update
b) The Caffeine Update
c) The Panda Update


Anyways…every time the Big G makes an update to their search algorithm (i.e. how they rank webpages in their search results), there are always “loopholes” that allow us to benefit and get our websites to the top of the page.

Last week, Rick Porter showed me how to kill the panda update in order to get more traffic to your site.

In fact, he showed me two really cool ways, but then he said I could only share one of them with you.

Otherwise I’d end up like the Panda.


Here’s the tip from Rick:

“The secret that you can tell people is not really a secret, BUT it’s just that people still won’t believe it or implement it even though Google itself has said this is where it is going with search results.

The secret has to do with pushing more content above the fold (above the fold means what you see when you land on a webpage without doing any scrolling).

You want your site to have more content ABOVE the fold and looking less like a giant billboard. So keep your banners NARROW and that way your site will look more like a great source of information.

The best example is wikipedia. Check out any article on that site, and you’ll notice it goes almost immediately into text content.

That’s one of the reasons it gets such high rankings and why there is plenty of inferior content on Wikipedia that is outranking good content from other sites in Google searches.

Case in point:  Look at the post on bodyweight exercises by Wikipedia


It’s nothing special, just information that links to more relevant information, BUT it ranks number ONE for the search term, “bodyweight exercise”.

So you might want to change your site so that it has more information above the fold. Don’t go overboard with artwork at the top of your site.

If you can create a site that Google recognizes as providing a ton of content, and one that still allows you to monetize you’re traffic, you’ll be able to make some nice passive money with a site that ranks high for the right search terms.

An example of what Rick and I have put together is:


It has a thin banner and lots of content, and that’s the site that made us about $2000 in affiliate commissions – through SEO traffic only
– in a recent product launch.

Hope that helps,

Craig Ballantyne

No pandas were harmed in the writing of this blog post.

That I know of.

And if there was, I blame Google.

  • Dan

    Awesome. I’m going to try this out on my new site. How would you implement this new idea on Would be interesting to see the before and after changes.

    Maybe a dumb question, but how does Google know what’s above the fold? Do they check the resolution of the screen and that way are able to tell the position of various elements on the site?

  • Google knows what is above the fold on the majority of peoples screens. They have the exact data on what the average monitor size is and resolution and they use that as a guideline. I’ve seen a few websites out there that will draw a frame around your website to show you where the average is – that is useful if you are using a mega size monitor and want to see what the rest of the world sees when they land on your website.

    This is what Google is calling improving the “user experience” – since they are the ones sending someone to a page through “THEIR” search algorithm, they want to make sure their user is not being sent to a giant banner selling them something and is rather sending them to a nice piece of information (that is why they love Wikipedia as a standard). When it comes to search they are in control so you just have to learn to play by their rules if you want to get free search engine traffic. If you get your traffic from other sources and search doesn’t matter then you can make your site look however you want.