It makes sense, and Google has confirmed that if your site requires cookies in order to view content, Google won’t index that content. You can learn more about how Google handles sites with cookies at this post from Search Engine Roundtable.
Google applies some penalties if your website header is so heavy that users can’t easily find the content, but their focus with that is on ads, not white space. You can read more about this white space topic on this post from Search Engine Roundtable, or learn more about the “top heavy” penalty from 2012 […]
Most businesses likely have some reviews on Google Maps, Yelp and other websites. If you want to put some of those reviews on your website, go for it! You can read more about this in this article from Search Engine Land.
It’s always been said that you should have solid alt text on your images if you want them to rank well, and Google has confirmed that it’s essential. You can read more about John’s comments on alt text in this post on Search Engine Roundtable.