diberry - 4:40 pm on Nov 27, 2012 (gmt 0)
I thought the idea of this "Ads Above The Fold" update was to penalise sites whose goal appeared (to Google) to be simply to refer traffic elsewhere. That's a subtle difference to penalising sites for just having ads in prominent positions and relates as much to content/ad relevancy and quality of content itself.
This would fit with what I'm seeing in the SERPs. Lots of sites near the top have tons of ads, but they also have good content and the ads aren't too in your face - they aren't blended with menus or content, they don't jump all over the page trying to get under your cursor, etc.
After all, it's not in Google Adsense's interest to discourage advertising in general - just advertising in ways that damage the user experience.