As some may be aware, Google has recently added the pagespeed check (as a result of Google Caffeine and Google Instant) within their ranking algorithms. This means that if your website is loading slowly (say above 3 seconds per page), Google is now going to be dropping the page ranking for the entire website. With so much necessity being placed on being the first result of any search keyword or phrase, it has become even more important to keep your page load speed at its peak performance. So while trying to make a buck or two sounds nice by adding infolinks or kontera as in-text advertising, it may be at a greater cost of lowering your SEO page rank.
We have run some split tests within some test websites. The results went specifically with noticing page rank from Google. One website found its way to a page rank of 4. We then added infolinks and after 5 months, the page rank dropped down to 3. Noticing this change, we then tested without infolinks for the next month. After a month, the page rank of the site then again rose to page rank of 4.
The website statistics from Google noted a page speed average time drop in the month. The average speed load still appeared high (comparitively), but it seemed to be low enough to take away whatever was dropping the page rank from the previous months.
These results may not be the same for everyone, but our experience has noted that the few extra bucks infolinks or kontera generate per day (or per month for some people) is not worth the hit Google is implementing for a slower page load.
- Remove your in-text ads from your website. The page ranking is way too valuable. If you are a small business or an a aspiring blog writer, you want every advantage you can get, and there are much better ways to get money than holding your potential growth back with these drops in page ranks.
Is Google taking out its competition?
Google is not in battle with Infolinks or Kontera with their adsense publisher solution. They have stated that it is fine to include both types of ads within your website at the same time without violating the terms. But there are some that look to in-text advertising as an alternative to adsense. Google knows this. It may not be a direct part of their plan, but the fact that this new algorithm change effects those using Infolinks and Kontera in a negative way may not be something Google is going to lose any sleep over. In fact, it may be cause for a few celebratory claps in their party rooms.
Update: November 23, 2011
Needless to say, the in-text advertising is once again dropped from the site and I will report back as soon as the pagerank is re-instated to PR4.
Update: November 28, 2011
5 days later, the pagerank is back up to 4 of the test website using in text advertising. It is good to see that Google is adjusting the rankings rather quickly, but it is sad to see the negative impact that in-text advertising directly has on the overall site pagerank. I guess we will be excluding it from our sites from now on.