Google just announced a step it's taking to reduce the amount of accidental clicks on its mobile ads by blocking certain types of clicks. Specifically, it will block clicks that happen close to the image edge, as well as clicks on the app icon, in addition to adding a clickability delay.
"Even as smartphone and tablet screen sizes get bigger, it can be hard for our fingers to keep up," says Google mobile display ads product manager Pasha Nahass. "It’s still so easy to click when you mean to swipe or to tap on a link or ad you didn’t mean to. When it comes to mobile ad clicks across networks, recent third party studies estimate that up to 50% of clicks are accidental. For advertisers, this can artificially inflate clickthrough rates and increase costs."
"As we continue to enhance our display ad formats to make them more engaging, we also strive to maximize click quality," Nahass adds. "In 2012, we introduced confirmed clicks on banner ads to prompt users to verify that they actually meant to click on an ad. Over the past year, we’ve expanded on those efforts to provide greater automation and require less work from users."
Now, on mobile image ads, users will have to click on a more central part of the image to get to the advertiser's site or app rather than hitting the area near the border, which Google has determined is prone to accidental clicks.
On in-app interstitial ads, users won't be able to click the app icon of an install ad because of its proximity to the ad close button. Rather, users will have to click on the call-to-action button to go to the app store page and install the app.
As for the delay, ads will become clickable only after they've been onscreen for an unspecified but "short" period of time, giving users time to look at the ad's content. Google says this will eliminate accidental clicks from those who didn't expect to see an ad.
All of this is designed to reduce costs to advertisers so they don't have to pay for unintentional garbage clicks. As a result, conversion rates should improve. In fact, Google says it's already seen a 15% average conversion rate hike on ads that have included these updates.
Image via Google