Does Google give preference to above-the-fold content?
“Above the fold” content has always been given preference by web designers, content marketers, and SEO professionals.
But is it the same with Google?
Does Google also prioritise and give preference to above-the-fold content when it comes to indexing and ranking content on the search engine results pages (SERPs)?
The same question was asked to Google’s John Mueller in a recent SEO Office-hours hangout video.
Above the fold
In case you do not know, “above the fold” refers to the content or portion of a web page that is visible when you load the web page without scrolling down the page.
If you have to scroll down to see something on a page, that isn’t a part of the above-the-fold content.
Here is an example of above-the-fold content to help you understand better.
John Mueller’s response
When asked about this, John Mueller responded:
“I don’t think we have strong preferences in that regard.”
John followed his answer with a deeper explanation of how Google sees and perceives above-the-fold content.
“The main thing is that we want to see some content above the fold, which 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.”
Google does not specifically prioritise above-the-fold content for search rankings. However, they do want to see some content above the fold.
That is purely to provide a better user experience to website visitors.
If they do not see anything when they land on a website and if they have to scroll down to see content, that signifies bad web design and a poor user experience.
And that is something that Google will likely penalise or demote in the search results.