Google removes AdSense 3-ads-per-page limit, focuses on content-to-ad balance
With mobile, the ads-per-page limit lost relevancy. The update gives Google more discretion.
Google has removed the policy of limiting AdSense ads to three ads per page. The move can largely be seen as a response to mobile, on which pages have turned into never-ending streams and a specific ads-per-page policy doesn’t make much sense.
A Google spokesperson confirmed the update to Marketing Land:
“We’re always fine tuning our policies to make sure they reflect the current environment. In one recent change, we stopped limiting the number of AdSense ads that could appear on a page and instead now look at the overall balance of content and ads on a page. We think this better takes into account experiences like infinite scrolling and in-stream video. As always, we encourage publishers to keep the user experience in mind and require they have more original content than ads on the page. “
The Valuable inventory section has now been updated to reframe the content-to-ad ratio policy from one with specific limitations to one that relies on common sense and gives Google more discretion. The update states that Google “may limit or disable ad serving on pages with little to no value and/or excessive advertising until changes are made.”
Like most other ad sellers, Google has been focusing on native ad inventory — recently adding a responsive ad format for advertisers that can run in native inventory on AdSense publisher sites — and this update can be seen as a complement to that focus. Google ad units like the vignette that takes over the whole screen on mobile when a user leaves a page are still available. In fact, that format never counted toward the three-ad limit and in hindsight foreshadowed this week’s policy update.
This update comes at the same time Google announced it will begin imposing ranking penalties on mobile sites with “intrusive interstitials” that block access to content and/or can’t be easily closed.