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Ads above the fold and screen-size, does G now evaluate top-heavy ad sites differently depending on size?

     
2:30 am on Feb 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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A few years ago, Matt came out on video and famously held up his note paper and sticky notes and showed us all what is "probably too much".

At that time no one was talking mobile devices and for that matter it was basically impossible to get anyone at G to commit to what size screen THEY were even using to determine the algo percentage (even our personal reps at GAdsense had no idea - although a mental memo at the time confirmed they all had 1200x800 monitors.)

So now enter teeny tiny mobile screens, mobile friendliness and the like, and are we in even more of a quandary? Can a page get penalized for too many ads on a mobile, but not a desktop? Without testing every single page on every mobile device can we rest assured we're not accidentally letting too many ads slip above the fold to anger G when a mobile user flips his device sideways and only displays the top 320 pixels, where 50 of them (vertically) are our logo and anywhere from 90 to 250 of the pixels are an ad that would be ok on a laptop?

Do we need to assume the worst common denominator and make sure NO ads are ever above the 1024 pixel level at all widths?
3:05 pm on Feb 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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We need to use common sense. I have ads above the fold on some sites. It hasn't hurt me. But I don't overdo it, either. There's never more than one. It's easily distinguishable as an ad. It doesn't overwhelm the site name, the navigation or the content.
3:35 pm on Feb 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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This question (among others on this topic) was asked recently here: [webmasterworld.com...] and while I don't think the specific answer the mobile screen question was posted because no one has a way to know that yet, you might find the discussion helps in other ways.

Mobile friendly sites should be using their responsive ad sizes which kind of throws the ball back in their court to not fill the screen.
Not that if that means a demerit, you'll get a pass.
4:24 pm on Feb 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Rather than "testing every single page on every mobile device" most sites will have some kind of template or limited series of templates so only a limited number of tests are needed.

As mentioned, for adsense you can use responsive ads and for other ads you can create your own css media queries to control the size or use a script to check browser size and deliver appropriate ads

Personally, I would think it does count as top heavy or at least not 'mobile friendly' if all that is visible on a phone is a logo and an advert - but whether G count it as too much is anyone's guess.

Also it is hard to avoid clicking an ad that is 300*250 on a phone so if adsense (or media.net) is involved I would tend to only use 300*50 ads for mobiles (to avoid a possible ban or smartpricing).
6:48 pm on Feb 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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For a phone, I would never place an ad bigger than 300x100 above the content, and certainly never more than one. For my own sites, I load the nav the sitename and a little of the content before the ad shows up.
 

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