Don’t Trick The Google Ad Click

    May 11, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Placing Google AdSense units and navigation elements on a website can be accomplished without leading to accidental clicks. Webmasters should beware of doing otherwise.

Don't Trick The Google Ad Click
Don’t Trick The Google Ad Click

The many ways webmasters can arrange their site elements could lead them to drop their AdSense units in inappropriate places. When there is a chance something could overlap the AdSense unit, people may click on the ad without meaning to do so.

It’s something Google looks for in its continuing analysis of ad clicks. Accidental clicks can cost an advertiser money if they aren’t sorted out of the legitimate clicks.

Google’s AdSense blog addressed this recently, and gave examples of elements that should not have ad units placed too near to them:

  • In close proximity to Macromedia Flash games

  • Under pop-ups or download prompts
  • Near site navigation controls on your pages, such as drop-downs or menu links

Putting AdSense units too near these elements may make Google’s mechanisms think they have been placed intentionally, in order to grab a few accidental clicks and boost the site’s ad revenue. It’s against Google’s policies and could get a site punished for doing so.

In turn, publishers have been asking for clarification of AdSense placement. As a rule, they are encouraged to have their ad units integrated in a way that allows them to attract relevant ads based on the site’s content.

A follow-up post from Google on this placement with regards to optimizing ads showed examples of acceptable and unacceptable implementations.

“You can understand that increasing the possibility of accidental clicks on your sites is not in the best interest of users or advertisers, and we wanted to make you aware of this risk,” Mike Deeringer from AdSense Publisher Support wrote.

“This is why we ask that you maintain sufficient distance between your ads and any elements of your page on which users may often click.”

The advice also comes across as a reminder that Google is watching for sites generating a lot of accidental clicks through their navigation or other element placement. It’s likely that some people have realized the benefit of accidental clicks, forcing Google to give this subtle reminder about doing AdSense the right way.