Do Ads on Your Website Have a Negative Impact on SEO?

One of the news websites that I visit every day has the most annoying ads.  If you hover too long at the top of the page or if you are trying to get to the main navigation, a slide down ad pops out and moves all of the content down the page.  Annoying.  Then as soon as you click on a link, a pop-up ad comes up in a new window.  Annoying.  But, besides being annoying, can ads affect your website ranking in search engines?


The basic premises of good SEO practices for websites are:

  1. Providing Regular, Quality, Keyword Rich, Original Content
  2. Getting links to your website from other high-quality websites


In addition to SEO, most website owners want their content to be readily shared and visitors to view their website through these links.  What if website ads are standing in the way of all of these things that contribute to good SEO, more website visitors, more links to your website content, and a higher search engine ranking?

Page of ads
Consider the following things:

  1. If visitors have a hard time reading the article because halfway through there is a large ad which they have to get past to read the rest of the story, the visitors probably aren’t going to be as ready to share the article (if they even finish the article before they leave the website annoyed).
  2. Share buttons on a website article do not stand out as much when immersed in a sea of ads.  So, one of the most important tools for website visitors to easily share content is an after thought.
  3. Ad placement on a website should not get in the way of the content or even appear before the content.  Users generally do not want to promote an ad to their friends, they want to share a good article.
  4. While search engines might overlook all of the distracting ads on your website, excessive ads might not provide the best user experience


In closing, weigh potential ad revenue from your website with the user experience that you are providing to website visitors.  Is it more important for your website to have content that is seen often in Facebook, Twitter and other blogs, or for you to have that drop down ad in your main menu?  Remember the more websites that link to your content, the more people are going to find your website through search engines like Google.  The more people who find your website, the more people are there to potentially click on your ads…and of course read your excellent content.


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Eric Wagner

Eric is a CEO with a background in marketing and search engine optimization specialist (SEO). In his free time, Eric enjoys exercise, gardening, technology, a good book, and spending time with family and friends.

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