Mashable Pushes Quality Content Below the Fold

Posted by | June 13, 2012 | SEO | 5 Comments

We love Mashable, its one of our regular reads for Tech News.  Lately though the advertising has started to get a little bit in the way of the quality content and User Experience.  When I say “a little bit”, I mean they’ve taken over. I don’t want to say it, but it’s some of the worst I have seen. Can anyone tell me what either of these articles is about?

 

First time was on Wednesday 6th June

Mashable Advertise Over the Fold 1

 

And then again on Monday 11 June

Mashable Advertise Over the Fold 2

 

[UPDATE] And yet again today…

Mashable Pushes Content Below the Fold 3

It looks as though Mashable have dumbed down their content so far its gone below the fold.

It just shows there is a really fine line between the business models of a news platform monetised by advertising and an affiliate site.

Will they get a Panda Punch?

Mashable Pushes Content Below the Fold

Original Image from the amazing www.huebucket.com (click the pic)

 

Googles Panda Update is largely about user experience and if this kind of advertising is over used I’m pretty certain its going to be reflected in their user metrics and ultimately their rankings. In an update on the Page Layout Algorithm posted to the Webmaster Central Blog on 19th January this year Matt Cutts clearly stated:

“This algorithmic change does not affect sites who place ads above-the-fold to a normal degree, but affects sites that go much further to load the top of the page with ads to an excessive degree or that make it hard to find the actual original content on the page. This new algorithmic improvement tends to impact sites where there is only a small amount of visible content above-the-fold or relevant content is persistently pushed down by large blocks of ads. “

Cited from Matt Cutts post: Page layout algorithm improvement

Obviously this is not a permanent feature in their website design. Its going to be cookie/session driven to the user and will therefore not appear every time you visit the site/page.

The article does however state “persistently pushed down” so Mashable are probably not going to get penalised for doing this. However, if there is continued pressure from prospective owners (CNN) to monetise the model, and the smart cookies at Mashable can think of no better way than massive display advertising, then User Experience is going to suffer.

This type of advertising is known to be pretty effective so there is almost certainly going to be a continued demand and pressure for it. The bright sparks at Mashable have 2 problems to solve:

  1. Find a balance between User Experience (and SEO Rankings) and Monetisation.
  2. Find more innovative and less intrusive ways to monetise their platform?

The CNN Connection

I do not remember their website being this saturated with ads before the rumours and talks of CNN taking ownership. This could possibly be Mashable sweetening the deal to show CNN the no-brainer way of monetisation.

Unfortunately this simplistic and dated model may ruin Mashables image as it was nicely put here:

CNN may do a better job, if they let Mashable be what Mashable is rather than try to force it into new and uncomfortable shapes. But major news organisations trying to sprinkle themselves with tech-startup stardust often end up looking like a dad borrowing their teenage kid’s iPod for an office party.

Cited from Tom Chivers CNN buying Mashable: will they end up looking like a dad dancing at a teenager’s party?

For Advanced Understanding and SEO Insight

Head on over to Search News Central where the guys coined the term GooPLA  (Google Page Layout Algorithm) and read the article by Dave Harry: Google page layout algorithm; page segmentation gets a new twist

Coincidentally the screen grab used by David in his article is also covered by CNN advertising.  Funny that!

Duncan has been an active player in digital marketing since '97 and is now an aspiring digital philanthropist. As a regular speaker amongst the Norfolk Business community he enjoys nothing more than debunking myths about SEO and sharing practical advice directly to business owners that want to embrace the net. He believes that collaborative technologies can change the world for the the better.

    Find out more & get connected:
  • facebook
  • googleplus
  • linkedin
  • twitter

About Duncan Johnson

Duncan has been an active player in digital marketing since '97 and is now an aspiring digital philanthropist. As a regular speaker amongst the Norfolk Business community he enjoys nothing more than debunking myths about SEO and sharing practical advice directly to business owners that want to embrace the net. He believes that collaborative technologies can change the world for the the better.

  • SueBrettell

    I’ve had the plugin AdBlock installed on Firefox and Chrome for years. Cleans up websites of all those unwanted distractions and can easily be toggled for particular pages or sites. I turned it off on Mashable after reading this and I agree the advertising is overkill. I guess I’m missing out on a lot of adverts …shucks!

    • Duncan Johnson

       @SueBrettell LOL Sue… unfortunately for myself and the guys here we dont have the privilege of using ad blockers… being digital marketers we need to see all advertising in order to make comment
       
      I’m so jealous ;o)
       
      Thanks for testing it out.  I’m intrigued, did you also get the Samsung Ad? or was it tailored to you differently?

      • SueBrettell

         @Duncan Johnson I’m sorry for slow reply …been nose to grindstone for the last week. I don’t remember if there was a Samsung ad, but there wasn’t anything as large as the ads in your screenshots.  I’ve just checked and currently I’m seeing a relatively small banner promoting mobile & Mac security, presumably to tie in with their feature on Macs no longer being virus-free. 
         
        Good luck with your State of Digital event. I was hoping to attend but that old grindstone is still needing my nose!  ;–)

        • Duncan Johnson

          Hi Sue,
           
          I think the Samsung campaign has now finished.  Thats you cant see anything.
           
          Yep we’re all looking forward to #SOD2012… Shame you cant make it.
           
          Duncan 

  • mathewmakio

    That is not Mashable advertising……I never seen it look like that…maybe malware on your computer