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A website that already exists with a right sidebar is considering adding a left sidebar. Doing this will result in the body having a width of 520px.

What are the implications, if any, on search engine ranking positions for this website?

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    Why would you think the width of a body affects SEO? In what way would adding content to a web page be a problem?
    – Rob
    Nov 25, 2017 at 13:57
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    @Rob Google does care that the page is easy to use with clear navigation and content areas. If you add enough clutter to the page, at some point it is going to make it hard enough for users to use, that it will hurt SEO. Many sites have both right and left sidebars and remain useable though. Nov 25, 2017 at 21:29
  • @StephenOstermiller He didn't say he was adding clutter.
    – Rob
    Nov 25, 2017 at 21:37
  • Search engines can easily separate content from templated content and search queries only apply to content. Adding another sidebar, for the most part and ignoring user experience (UX), should not change how a page is found in search. Also consider how you handle your site in mobile. You may be seriously reducing the sidebar content for mobile. You will really have to pay attention to screen size more with another sidebar. Tablets will become more important in your considerations. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Nov 26, 2017 at 4:33

1 Answer 1

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What are the implications, if any, on search engine ranking positions for this website?

Zero direct implications.


Indirect implications might include (but might not be limited to):

  • If visitors like the layout and stay on the page longer / interact with the page more / stay on the site longer / visit more pages, this behaviour may be tracked and it may positively influence search engine assessment of the page and / or the site

  • If visitors don't like the layout and stay on the page for less time / interact with the page less / stay on the site for less time / visit fewer pages, this behaviour may be tracked and it may negatively influence search engine assessment of the page and / or the site

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