Content creators may wonder whether Google views content ‘above the fold’ on websites as more important for its search results. Fortunately, Google’s Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller provided clarification during a recent livestream.
During an episode ‘SEO Office Hours,’ Mueller’s Google Hangout series, a viewer asked Mueller if Google paid more attention to content above the fold. The viewer shared that they were aware of a website that moved their content from below the fold to above, and found that they SERP rankings improved instantly.
‘Above the fold’ refers to what is visible instantly upon clicking on a webpage – in other words, the top of the page. Anything on the page that requires the user to scroll to view is ‘below the fold.’
Search Engine Journal explains that, previously, Google would prioritize content above the fold on webpages when analyzing them for SERPs. Google has since switched to AI and natural language processing to analyze the entire page – not just what is above the fold.
So, does Google really prioritize content that is above the fold?
Not entirely, Mueller explains:
“The main thing is that we want to see some content above the fold,” Mueller said on the livestream. “A part of your page should be visible when a user goes there.”
Mueller provided an example of a page that wouldn’t be received well by Google.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Mueller’s ultimate answer?
“It’s not purely that the content has to be above the fold. But… some of the content has to be.”