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I ran an experiment last night by replacing a small ad for a mobile site thats located near the top of the page with a larger box ad, but I moved that ad towards the bottom of the page. Ten hours later, I earned more money than what I earned yesterday. This made me start to think.

According to Google, "Above the fold" means everything the user can see on one screen without scrolling. The problem is, not all screens are of the same resolution, especially mobile.

I want to optimize my ads but at the same time, not break any adsense rules.

My question is how much of the screen qualifies as "above the fold" on both a mobile site and a desktop site from the adsense bot's point of view?

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I think we should start from these facts:

This algorithmic change noticeably affects less than 1% of searches globally.

...

On a typical website, it can take several weeks for Googlebot to crawl and process enough pages to reflect layout changes on the site.

http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.it/2012/01/page-layout-algorithm-improvement.html

I don't think your changes are due to Google algorithms. Probably, it can be a simple variation in one day, so you need to wait and collect more data (and it can't even be enough, it's easy to fall in post hoc fallacy). In the best scenario, maybe you simply improved user experience on your website.

What should you use for measuring browser size? The PageSpeed Insights tool https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ so you can have an average of what mobile users can see.

Then, use the Browser Size function of In-Page analysis on Google Analytics (the old Google Labs' Browser Size). This tool let you see the percentile of web users that see a specific portion of a web page. In that way, you can actually identify what most people see as above the fold.

Then, simply follow the Google AdSense guidelines https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/1346295?hl=en

This is a screenshots shared across the web enter image description here

  • In that case, I'll take your word and head over to google analytics and see if I can get answers there. – Mike Jun 7 '15 at 0:49
  • I would not put ads for the 80% percentile of users for simplicity. Then you can also resize your browser window (by hand, or use an extension like WIndow Resizer) and see in mobile where is the limit. – lucgenti Jun 7 '15 at 7:59
  • But as you can see, AdSense team has nothing against above the fold ads in small form. It really depends on you. If it's possible, I would try split testing for finding the best combination. Maybe it's even in place far from the above the fold. – lucgenti Jun 7 '15 at 8:07

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