joined:Nov 13, 2016
First of all, and without being rude, the first rule of a web master is to never integrate something in your pages, that you are not fully in control. (or at least control enough, because yes, we never have a 100% control over ads being displayed). So Auto-ads is the perfect example of something you/we are not controlling. It adds ads at different places, without us being able to control this. So it can't be "good". Especially, sine Adsense and Google Search are different entities, with different goals and different point of views. Adsense will of course try to over optimize ad placement, but regardless of Google search position about user's experience and excessive / misleading ad placement. Too many web masters believe that, if Adsense does or proposes something, it means that it's compliant with Google Search rules/policies. That is definitively wrong. And it's not a matter of the right hand ignoring what the left hand is doing. Never it's said that Adsense will be compliant with Google Search.
Google consider Adsense Auto-ADS an "optimization factor" but only in this own testing tool and this can fool many people because consider that they do things right.
The Auto ads can produce more optimized code, compared to normal adsense block. They may perfectly be rendered in a different way, with less network requests, or things like that. You can't really know of the mixture made.If you run the test several times, on the same page, with the auto ads, you'll certainly observe different scores. Because also, each ads is more or less consuming resources. (a rich media ad vs text ad, etc...).
it was never my intention but Auto-ADS testing intention.
Google's AI can't (yet) predict your intention, and in all events, Google won't mind. So sine it was for testing only, I guess you removed the auto ads and are using conventional ads again. So in that case, IF there is really a penalty or downgrading of your ranking because of it, this should be fixed during the next iteration of the indexing.
Some of my competitors scrape my page, steal content and rank better but have less ads or not using adsense auto-ads.
The reason is certainly a better user's experience, which is something that Google Search is taking in consideration. You might try to learn what these scrapers are doing, and apply it to your own site (I don't mean the scraping , of course, I mean about the page layout, ad placement, and any kind of optimization they might be doing with your content).