With a policy update announced Tuesday, AdSense publishers can now include 300×250 ad units above the fold on their mobile websites.
In a blog post announcing the change, John Brown, head of publisher policy communications at Google, explained:
After careful review, we’ve determined that when 300×250 ads are implemented above the fold in a user-friendly way, the ads do not annoy, distract, or result in ad performance issues.
Publishers that feature the ad unit above the fold on mobile are warned to still have site content clearly show in view to avoid accidental ad clicks.
Google’s own research shows that a 300×250 ad unit placed just below the fold has a viewability rate of roughly 50 percent. Overall, this ad size had the lowest viewability rate (41 percent) of any standard ad size Google measured. Allowing this popular ad unit to appear above the fold on mobile obviously has the effect of increasing viewability rates — to around roughly 70 percent per the study. That means higher RPM potential for publishers, and Google itself.