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I read the following policy on google:

Is placing a 300x250 ad on the first view screen of a smartphone considered a policy violation?

Yes, this would be considered a policy violation as it falls under our ad placement policies for site layout that pushes content below the fold. This implementation would take up too much space with ads on a mobile optimized site's first view screen and provide a poor experience to users. Always try to think of the user experience on your site — this will help ensure that your users continue to visit.

As long as the main content stays above the fold and doesn't affect the user experience, you could consider implementing a 320x100 as an alternative.

I then decided to place just one 320x100px ad unit centered and at the top of the image page. and for the past few months, I've been consistently making $0 RPM. Now I'm beginning to wonder if a CDN is mandatory for me because when I ran tests on the site, testing it on a machine close to the server shows an < 10ms TTFB (time to first byte) where as testing it on a mobile device from western USA (where I think google is) shows about a 320ms TTFB, however when I tested it from a desktop computer in the same area in USA, the TTFB is under 200ms (which is what google recommends). On my desktop site I'm making something in RPM, but never on mobile site.

Here's a screen shot of a recent test for the mobile site:

http://www.webpagetest.org/result/160116_A5_N7B/

And also, if I use a CDN, what limitations do I have with regards to updating my site (for example: how long will it take before users see updates)? (Sorry I'm new to CDN's but if it helps me solve my issue, I'll consider it)

Sometimes the site is updated a few times a day, but when things go haywire, I sometimes update it like once every few seconds to make sure problems are fixed.

  • Anything for mobile under 3 seconds is acceptable... your time to first byte is acceptable. How many unique visitors is the mobile platform receiving? Also, RPM tends to be a lot lower in Mobile platform since advertisers are not willing to bid as much for the ad space since the conversion is way less... Low RPM to me would be an indicator that the ad space is low (low value content, i.e comestic surgery related pays more 100x than cat food articles, or the traffic is low (under 1,000) or adsense is not updating on the mobile platform, as they are treated seperately. – Simon Hayter Jan 18 '16 at 18:19
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testing it on a mobile device from western USA (where I think google is) shows about a 320ms TTFB

Sites hosted in South Africa (the country which is closest to western USA antipode) are doing fine with AdSense, so I believe CDN won't solve "$0 RPM problem". You said on the "desktop site I'm making something in RPM", so do you actually have some traffic on the mobile version?

Mobile site header is inside the "Advertisement" block. I need to be very careful not to tap on the ad when I want to tap on the site header, because that'll make you $0 RPM, and I guess that's what they mean when they say "Encouraging accidental clicks".

Ad placement policies
https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/1346295

If you enabled "Only my owned sites are authorized to use my ad code", then you should add mobile site to Owned list.

Authorize your owned sites to display ads
https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/65062

Your AdSense implementation is what I'd call "very heavy modification", and (sorry) I think it could be a problem if you are not sure how exactly AdSense works, and you are trying to guess.

For example, if you create fixed-size ad unit, and you are not using its original size - as defined in your account, that would be a problem.

On one of your sites, I saw ad slot IDs are numbers, not strings. I think you'll probably notice google_ad_slot:0123456789 will make you slotname=123456789 bad request, and google_ad_slot:'0123456789' should work fine (slotname=0123456789).

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A CDN will help you reducing latency.
CDNs like Amazon CloudFront, CloudFlare and others store your assets in redundant locations, that means that each user requires the contents of your website to the nearest server.
These services usually have data center in many parts of the world.
This will surely decrease your website's response time, and this would probably help your conversions also, since many users won't left the website before it's fully loaded.
But please consider there are many factors that determinate the RPM, and most of them are related to usability, user experience and contents.

Again, you will have problems to update your website only if the CDN uses some caching system (and they usually DO that). Then you will have to wait the object from be deallocated from cache, and it depends on the cache's object lifetime. You can disable the cache if possible, or simply versionating your assets by changing the name for each update.

However, my suggestion is to keep a local development version of your website, so that you can perform changes locally and then release the production version just once you are ready and you tested everything.

Directly updating the production version is not recommended.

Best regards!

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