Google’s John Mueller, during the SEO Office-hours hangout, was asked a question – Does Google gave a preference to “above the fold content”? To this, John Mueller answered of how much content Google expects to see in the top of the page area.
What is Above the Fold Content?
Now, let us understand what is “Above the fold” content. This is mainly the reference to the content that can be viewed by the under/visitor without scrolling the web page when it loads in the browser. This phrase was originated from how newspapers used to be displayed in early times within a news box vending machine. It is easy to understand also, the top part of the newspaper that is above and this area of the newspaper is visible after is folded is visible.
If we talk about what Above the fold means today, we will define it as the content that is at the top of the webpage and is visible to the viewers without having to scroll down to see it.
Are there Any Ranking benefits From Above the Fold Content
Can a website or webpage yield benefits from above the fold content? Someone related to John Mueller shared that a competitor shifted their content and links from the bottom of the page or from below the fold to “above the fold”, they saw that the rankings were improved massively after doing so! The improved ranking also helps in improving the traffic and visits to the website.
Now the question arises that Google gives likes content that is above the fold more or below the fold more?
The above question is entirely reasonable to ask if there is a ranking benefit on pushing more of the content above the fold. It is obvious that the user experience improves up to a greater extent when more content is above the fold.
Additionally, in the earlier days, Google gave preference to content that was even near the top of the web page also. A lot of patents, research papers, journals, and statements confirmed earlier that keywords, content, and headings that near the top of the page or we can say above the fold, were algorithmically considered more significant than was towards the end of the page.
So What Google Says on Above the Fold Content
If we believe what Google’s Mueller had to say to whether Google had a preference: well, he says “I don’t think we have strong preferences in that regard.”
He further said – “So the main thing is that we want to see some content above the fold.
This means… a part of your page should be visible when a user goes there.
So for example, if a user goes to your website and they just see a big holiday photo and they have to scroll down a little bit to actually get content about a hotel, then that would be problematic for us.
But if they go to your home page and they see a hall of fame photo on top and also a little bit of information about the hotel, for example for a hotel site, that would be fine.
So it’s not purely that the content has to be above the fold. But… some of the content has to be.”
How to Check If you’re Above the Fold Content is Good?
It is interesting to know that if the content of your website is benefiting you and if you are above the fold content is good. It also gives an understanding that how far Google has come in terms of its ranking algorithms. When the Google hummingbird algorithm arrived, Google stopped using keywords in titles and headings and near the top of the page just to see what words were important and what the content was about.
You can easily check how good your ‘above the fold content is by its performance. If your website is properly optimizing the ‘Above the Fold Content’ area then you will have better rankings, increased traffic, and overall good performance of the website. If your website has better above the fold content, you’ll find it very easy to hook your visitors and hold them on your website for a longer time, will read your content, and might also become a subscriber or even your customer.
Your site should also go for the new Core Web Vitals test available in Search Console. This helps you identify groups of pages across your site that require attention which you can improve after the test result.