16 January 2017

Mixed 'Matched Content'

After last week's post on 101 Pages with 'Matched Content', I decided I didn't like the combination of Google's matched links and Google's ad at the bottom of each page. The visual impact is captured below in the top part of the composite diagram. What to do?

In the parameters for its matched content, Google offers the possibility of including ads in place of internal links. The most obvious solution was to activate that option and eliminate the standalone ad. I did this on one page to take a look at it. It took some time for the change to ripple through Google's system, but the result is shown in the bottom part of the diagram.

It turns out that Google always replaces three matched links with ads, and those three are always in the same position. Each link includes the name of the destination domain, and ads are marked 'Ad' to the left of that name.

In my example, one ad is in English ('Highest Dividends'), one is in Dutch ('Paardenverzekering'), and one is in French ('Jouez à ...'), but such is life in bilingual Belgium. I decided that this treatment looked better than the previous iteration and applied the same change to the other 100 pages that had matched content.

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