Google SERP Ignoring Ad to Content Ratio “Guidelines”

While doing some SEO research this morning I ran the Google search pictured below…

Having spent considerable time building sites/businesses that rely on Adsense as part of their revenue stream I can think of a number of Google algorithmic penalties this ad/content ratio seems to violate.

Can you?

Google ad to content ratio problem

Relevant article from Search Engine Land:

Have The Same Ad-To-Organic Ratio As Google Search? Then You Might Be Safe From The Top Heavy Penalty

Matt goes on to add this disclaimer:

Hmm, guess I’m a cynic though I just tried lots of searches, most with brand names as I’m working on a shopping site, all had ads just like what’s pictured above. While percentage wise there are probably large numbers of searches that do not have ads that doesn’t mean ones that do should so blatantly violate the ad/content ratio.

Nike Shoes
Levi Jeans
etc. etc.

[Updated: Dec. 6, 2013] Moz Blog has an interesting article speculating on Google’s next steps in 2014 with a nice analysis of these relatively new ads. Peter goes on to add:

This new format has been running on mobile browsers for a while now, and Google’s widespread testing makes it look like a foregone conclusion for desktop search. This change will have huge implications on both organic and paid CTR in 2014, regardless of the final form.

Dr. Peter J. Meyers – November 2013

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