Panda is still causing a whirlwind of fun for people and I’m seeing a lot of noise about length of content and ad ratios being billed as a factor. Well, if you need one more reason to read Webmaster World on a daily basis, now’s the time to sign up or bookmark. I was cruising the Google section today when I came across this nifty piece of information talking about how there is no “golden” ad-to-text ratio, and that size doesn’t matter when it comes to the article. This was said by Google employee Susan Moskwa
Dude, it sounds like you’ve read too many tin foil hat “SEO” articles. As long as your site has worthwhile, original content on it (i.e. it’s not just made to put AdSense on it), there’s not a golden “text-to-ads ratio” or a word limit for ranking. I worry that you’re just looking at the trees and not seeing the forest. Optimizing your site for search isn’t about counting the words on a page, it’s about making sure that you have useful, usable content, and then making that content accessible to search engines.
I feel kind of bad for so many mis-lead site owners in the Google Webmaster Help area because so many people were saying this was a problem. It however doesn’t elude to the fact that terrible ad placement may be a problem, something that hinders usability for the reader. I can see how 3 giant ad blocks above the fold are not going to be a pleasant experience.
I have only seen major Panda problems with duplicate content for the most part, and have yet to have any clients with too many ads get a bump. I have been suspect of your link profile being a factor, but I’ve also been shot down for this idea. The sites I’ve seen get hit did have very unnatural link profiles, so it could be coincidence or just that too many companies suck at building links. Either way, I hope this bit of information helps you with your problem solving and getting passed this update and get back to making money.