This past year, a lot of information has been given out about the importance of having your content above the fold. I have always taught and practiced this method for good SEO. It makes sense from the perspective of the search engine as well as for the site visitor. A search engine like Google needs to see your text and links early in the crawl to help confirm what the page is about. People need a good paragraph early in the page design to introduce them to the site or page they are on. The Internet is a link driven space. Google is a link driven search engine. So, likewise, it makes sense to have good, readable and crawlable links, especially to the important parts of your site, above the fold.
Years ago I used to use a lot of absolute positioning to achieve this. With absolute positioning I could put the text at the top of the code and the scripts and flash at the bottom of the pages code so that the search engine gets the important stuff first in the crawl. Important being the text and links. Today however, there are so many sites that have moved to CMS (content management systems) like Joomla, Drupal, Ruby and WordPress, that this practice of absolute positioning is used less because of the modulation of content and page elements used by these systems, which are coded for the ease of the masses.
You may want to pay close attention the next time you look at your site and ask yourself, are there important (crawlable) keyword links above the fold on my pages and do my pages have a cohesive block of text, including your keywords, above the fold. And if the answer to either question is “no” it may be time for you to consider a redesign. Don’t forget that this is the best time you can call on the services of a professional SEO, that is, before you redesign your site. This is so that you will not have to hire an SEO later to explain why your design has problems from a search perspective.
What is the moral of this story, the skinny? Get your important keyword text and links present above the fold on all of your pages. I’ve always taught this as a best practice and this is what is now being taught heavily in the search marketing conferences like Webmaster World, Search Engine Strategies and Search Marketing Expo.
If you need help architecturing your site to accomplish this, give me a call or shoot me an email.
I wish you all the best for 2012!