Google’s John Mueller was asked if templated content above the fold can rank in Google Search, where the unique content is below the fold. John Mueller said “the important part for us is really that there is some amount of unique content in the above the fold area.”
So yes, you need to show some unique content at the top of the page, even if for legal reasons you need to have a templated snippet of content at the top of your webpage.
This question came up in the Friday video hangout at the 6:35 mark into the video where Jameson Sansone asked a question relating to templated content above the fold from a mobile-first perspective.
He said “this relates to a blog restructuring we’re working on, where we’re moving from all of our blog articles living in a blog subdirectory to building out topic clusters with specific topic landing pages. And based on initial designs of the topic landing pages, they’re all going to include the same hero banner with the same header and then the same two sentences, and then below that will be a subnavigation to let the user navigate to a specific topic landing page. And my concern is, from that mobile viewport, each of these topic landing pages, they’re unique URLs, unique titles, but they have that same header and just above the fold content. But right below that is a unique subheader, which would be like the h1 tag of the page. So I just want to get your thoughts there. I know Google in the past has said that they weigh above the fold content, and I think it’s something important for us to look at. But is it detrimental to non-brand rankings for those topic landing pages?
John Mueller of Google responded at the 7:59 mark saying “The important part for us is really that there is some amount of unique content in the above the fold area.”
“So if you have a banner on top, and you have generic URL image on top, that’s totally fine. But some of the above the fold content should be unique for that page. And that could be something like a heading that’s visible in a minimum case, but at least some of the above the fold content should be there,” he added.
Here is the video:
Glenn Gabe has a good GIF for it as always:
Worried about above the fold content based on having the same templated elements taking up the entire viewport? Via @johnmu: What’s important is that there’s some type of unique content in the above the fold area for that page. That’s Google’s guidance: https://t.co/3QO8aqepne pic.twitter.com/mAgMuoKsAn
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) June 7, 2021
Forum discussion at Twitter.