Technical SEO

Ad Heavy

Shahid Maqbool

By Shahid Maqbool
On Jul 4, 2023

Ad Heavy

What is Ad Heavy?

The term "ad heavy" refers to a situation where a website, app, or other media platform displays a significant number of advertisements, to the point where it can negatively impact the user's experience.

This can be due to the sheer number of ads, their placement on the page, or other factors that make them overly intrusive or distracting. An ad-heavy platform may be less enjoyable or more difficult to use than one with fewer ads.

Why is it discouraged?

An excessive amount of ads, or an "ad heavy" platform, is often discouraged because it can negatively impact the user experience.

Some of the reasons why an ad-heavy platform is discouraged include:

Intrusive and distracting

When there are too many ads on a page, they can become intrusive and distract the user from the content they are trying to view.

This can be especially frustrating when the user is trying to complete a task, such as filling out a form or making a purchase.

Slow loading time

Pages with too many ads may take longer to load, which can be frustrating for users. This can also impact the platform's overall performance and lead to increased bounce rates.

Ad blindness

When there are too many ads on a page, users may start to ignore them all. This can be problematic for advertisers who are trying to reach their target audience.

Negative brand image

An ad-heavy platform can give off a negative impression to users, as they may view it as spammy or unprofessional. This can hurt the platform's overall reputation and credibility.

User experience

Websites with too many ads can be frustrating for users, as the ads may hide content or make it difficult to navigate.

Poor user experience can result in lower engagement and higher bounce rates, which can negatively affect SEO.

High ad-to-content ratio

Websites with a high ratio of ads to content can be seen as low-quality by search engines, as they prioritize revenue generation over providing high-quality content.

Search engines may penalize such sites by lowering their search rankings, which can negatively affect SEO.

Ad placement

Websites with ads placed in locations that are considered intrusive or deceptive can be penalized by search engines.

For example, placing ads in a way that mimics content or hides important information can result in penalties and lower search rankings.

Also, making the ad appear as a part of the content makes a negative image of the website.

Is ad heavy and heavy ad the same?

While "heavy ad" and "ad heavy" may sound similar, they have slightly different meanings.

"Ad heavy" refers to a webpage or website that contains a large number of advertisements.

The term generally implies that the amount of advertising may be intrusive or overwhelming for users, potentially detracting from the user experience.

On the other hand, a "heavy ad" refers to a specific digital ad that uses an excessive amount of system resources, such as network bandwidth or CPU usage.

These are typically ads that are resource-intensive, potentially slowing down the page loading time and negatively affecting the user experience.

In some cases, web browsers like Google Chrome may intervene to unload such heavy ads to maintain site performance and user experience.

So, while both terms involve advertising and its impact on user experience, they are not the same thing.

"Ad heavy" refers to the quantity of ads, while "heavy ad" refers to the resource use of a specific ad.

Does Google penalise ad-heavy sites?

Google can penalize ad-heavy sites, especially those that prioritize revenue generation over user experience.

In fact, Google has released the FRED updates, that target low-quality content and websites that violate their webmaster guidelines by creating ad-heavy pages.

These updates aim to ensure that websites prioritize high-quality content and a positive user experience, rather than simply generating revenue through excessive advertising.

Ad-heavy sites that do not comply with these guidelines can be penalized by Google, resulting in lower search engine rankings and less visibility in search results.

Use Ad Experience Report for finding issues

Google’s Web Tool Help allows you to check how your ad, layout, and content cater to the user’s requirements.

To view the Ad Experience Report for your site, follow these steps:

  1. Go to

  2. In the left-hand panel, select either "Desktop" or "Mobile" to view the report for the respective environment.

  3. If you have multiple site properties verified with Search Console, select the property whose ad experiences you want to view from the drop-down menu in the top left corner.

Once you've selected the appropriate settings, the Ad Experience Report will display any issues related to your site's ad experience, along with recommendations for how to fix them.

By addressing these issues, you can improve the user experience and potentially improve your site's SEO.

How to improve user experience?

If you have an ad-heavy website and want to improve your user experience and SEO, here are some steps you can take:

Reduce the number of ads

Consider reducing the number of ads on your website to improve page speed and reduce clutter. Choose ads that provide high revenue and remove those that don't perform well.

Improve ad placement

Consider placing ads in less intrusive locations, such as at the bottom of the page or in the sidebar. Make sure that ads don't hide important content or navigation.

Optimize ad sizes

Choose ad sizes that fit well with your site's design and layout. Unoptimized ads can negatively impact the user experience and page speed.

Prioritize user experience

Make sure your website's design and navigation prioritize user experience over revenue generation. A positive user experience can increase engagement and reduce bounce rates, improving your site's SEO.

Monitor ad performance

Keep track of how your ads are performing and adjust your strategy as needed. Use Ad Experience Report to identify which ads are performing well and which are not.


Ad-heavy websites can be frustrating for users, as they may take longer to load, be intrusive, and disrupt the flow of content.

Additionally, too many ads can make it difficult for users to find the information they are looking for - leading to a poor user experience.

It is important for website owners to balance between generating revenue through advertisements and providing a positive user experience by keeping the number of ads to a reasonable level.

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