Rejoice, ad limits per page removed!
Google has announced a powerful shift in their policy regarding ad limits per page for AdSense users. Google has removed the policy of limiting AdSense ads to three ads per page and added new criteria to reframe how publishers should approach AdSense ads on each page. The new criteria for navigating ad placements can be found in a section of the updated Google AdSense policy dubbed, Valuable Inventory.
Summary of the AdSense ad limits policy change
Here are the basic limitations that have been removed from the former policy and the primary policy updates to be aware of…
1.) Publishers can now place more than 3 ad units on a given page. This was previously not allowed.
2.) Each page can now have more than one large (greater than 300×600) ad unit. And mobile pages are now allowed an unlimited amount of 320×100 ad units below the fold. However, the policy still limits the number of above the fold ads on mobile pages to one.
3.) The new policy inside the Valuable Inventory section states, “Advertising and other paid promotional material added to your pages should not exceed your content”. Essentially, Google is giving publishers more autonomy over their sites and how ads are placed. But, this comes with a warning,“ may limit or disable ad serving on pages with little to no value and/or excessive advertising until changes are made.”
What AdSense is telling publishers…
These changes philosophically mirror many of the changes that Google made regarding their search algorithm in the past. In search, Google started looking at quality metrics and user behavior/intent over measurement guidelines that had ruled the early days of search. The policy shift for AdSense can be seen as a similar shift.
By removing ad placement limits, Google is essentially saying that they aren’t as concerned about the number of ads on your site as they are about the quality of the content and the overall experience you are providing to your visitors. This means they’ve removed restrictions that may prevent you from getting the most out of your blog; while letting you know that there will be consequences if you’re not responsible with how these new abilities are utilized.
How to get the most out the AdSense policy change
This is an excellent opportunity for all publishers. The removal of rigid guidelines will make it easier to provide a better user experience while monetizing the blog more effectively. However, it will take some insight to truly take advantage of the change. Google is going to give publishers more freedom, but will also hold them accountable for changes that decrease the quality of their site (in the eyes of Google). Our recommendation; multivariate testing.
Lord Kelvin once said, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”, and in this case, you may also destroy what you cannot measure. Here’s a place you can go to learn a little bit more about how multivariate testing can help you determine the optimal mix of ads on your site to improve user experience and ad revenue.
The final word on ad limits per page
AdSense users should see this as an opportunity. The removal of restrictions gives all users greater control over ad placement; which obviously presents opportunities for more revenue and better user experience. But, it’s important to understand that this policy change really does put more responsibility back on the plate of the publisher.
Google is officially telling site owners that they are responsible for the quality and value of the entire experience on their site; as AdSense has removed almost all interventions (i.e. restrictions). Doing nothing in light of these changes could prove risky. The smart thing to do would be to test the ads on your site and make intelligent changes based on what the data is telling you about user experience and revenue.
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