Google’s John Mueller said on a webmaster hangout this morning that white space pushing content down for design and layout purposes is not an issue for SEO or ranking in Google. He said the issue really revolves around having ads where it is hard to find the content on the page that the searcher is looking for.
But using white space, as part of your user experience, to make your site better for your users, that is fine.
John said this at the 4:18 mark into the video.
Is unnecessary white space above the fold pushing content down problem, possibly algorithmic penalty worthy. The whitespace is caused by a site design not intentionally to push the content down. What screen size does Google use to determine the above-the-fold for mobile and desktop?
Whitespace like that is absolutely no problem.
For us it’s more of a problem if above-the-fold it’s all advertising for other sites. Where actually there you go to that page you think well why why did I end up here, there’s none of the content that I was looking for is actually visible on the stage.
So that’s more of an issue not not whitespace or design elements if you have a big header image those kind of things. Generally those aren’t the problem for us.
Forum discussion at YouTube.