Leosghost - 12:02 am on Oct 2, 2011 (gmt 0)
We do have ads above the fold and they do push some of the content down. We have up to 7 advertisements on a page including one each of 728x90 and 300x250 and up to four small non stanard 120x40 units, and one Adsense link unit - all except for the Adsense link unit are served using DFP (so Google knows we have all these ads).
Funnily enough, all those hit by any panda iteration and who have or had a load of ads either above the fold or on the page in general, think the following..
..or are even in total denial, as are many here still..of "its not the ads"..or "it cant be that ads" etc..or they will now say "well maybe some of it is the ads" ..after having spent many many weeks saying the precise opposite, with equal fervor..
We don't believe advertising played much of a role in why we were Pandalized.
And some have been clinging to this "belief"for months now..even to the point of "without the ads we can't exist, therefore judging us by the % of ads is wrong" ..or "I took away the ads now I should be depandalised ASAP..and G is disgusting if they don't do it soon" the sites cited as anomalies and "they should not have been affected" all had high percentages of ads above the fold or on the page in general ..persistence in denial of the "ad % factor" ..is to waste your efforts towards producing what you think G will perceive as "quality" in other areas..
The fact that your ads are served by DFP merely means that one part of G serves them ..it does not mean that using DFP makes you immune from being rated as "ad heavy" by Panda..
The usual voices will be raised against ads being major factor ..and the usual noises made ( totally incorrectly ) about sites who have been named in past threads, Daniweb being one which was so obviously designed to get ad clicks as was "the builder" that it is was a miracle that they had not been hit and demoted in serps long before Panda..
If a site is structured around the ads..and the ads are the major reason for its existence then it is an MFA..( and as such needs to be very very high quality with regards to its other content ) in the eyes of visitors, not to get mauled..neither of the sites I mentioned above fit that very very high quality" description ..and nor I suspect, ( and know in some cases ) do the sites of those who constantly rush to their defence.
Note I'm not saying it is entirely about ads..but the "ad % factor" is very much heavier than many here would like to believe..because the ads are the only reason for their sites being on the web..putting ads on a site does not entitle one to a higher SERP in any search engine, than any other site..in the vast majority of cases the way people implement ads or place them on their sites is detrimental to the experience of the visitor and is a royal PITA..