Google AdSense has recently announced a change to its policy regarding mobile ads “above the fold” – those ads that you can see on the page before scrolling down.
The policy change removes a limitation previously in place that restricted certain kinds of ads that were immediately visible on a mobile page without the user scrolling down at all.
Google AdSense says that it will now allow its 300×250 medium rectangle ads to be used above the fold on the mobile web pages.
This large size increase could mean ads taking up the majority of visible space when users land on a mobile site with these ads implemented – especially if the user the user is using a smaller mobile device. But Google does encourage publishers to be “vigilant to ensure that mobile site layouts don’t cause ads to push content below the fold in such a way that may lead to accidental clicks.”
Google also provides an optimisation guide for mobile web for best practices and tips on where to place ads to ensure a good user experience and so as not to annoy, distract or result in ad performance issues. All while its own AdSense documentation (yet to be updated) states: “Publishers should ensure that their mobile site layouts do not cause ads to push the page content below the fold. For this reason, we don’t allow 300×250 ad units (or larger) above the fold on mobile as this layout requires the user to scroll down to view site content. To ensure a good user experience, the site content should be clear and accessible above the fold. We would therefore encourage publishers to implement smaller ad units for above the fold placements on mobile site.”