londrum - 5:22 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)
there is a topic on here at the moment to do with about.com. i hadn't looked at it for ages so i had a look to be nosey. they seem to get away with a ton of ads above the fold.
looking at a typical article, i can see 4 different ad blocks all showing above the fold -- a 728x60 leaderboard, a square block on the lefthand side, and 2 more big square blocks on the righthand side -- and they are all adsense as well. the actual content is squeezed into a central column that takes up no more than a third of the width
google doesn't seem to be punishing that site. so maybe its got less to do with the number and position of the ads, and more to do with whether it turns away visitors. presumably About.com's visitors dont mind too much, otherwise it wouldn't have sold for $300 million