Google wants to stop you from accidentally clicking on mobile ads

Google Adsense

There’s almost nothing more frustrating than clicking on an ad by accident. Thankfully, Google this week announced a couple of things it’s doing to reduce ad mis-clicks.

First, the company is blocking clicks that happen close to the edge of an image. Google says it’s research shows that a significant number of misclicks happen when users try to click on content adjacent to an ad, or as they’re scrolling past one. So, going forward, clicks will only register if the user clicks on the centre of an ad.

Secondly, app icons can no longer be used for installs when a call-to-action button is already present on a page. “On in-app interstitial ads, users will no longer be able to click on the app icon of an install ad given its proximity to the ad close button,” says Google. “Instead, users must click on the call-to-action button to visit an app store page and install the app.”

Lastly, ads will only become clickable after they’ve been on the screen for a couple of seconds. The hope is that this will help reduce the number of ads that are accidentally clicked on while a web page is still loading.

As for the company’s reason for introducing these changes: one of the ad industry’s major challenges is something called ad waste. That is, the majority of ads are clicked upon accidentally; in fact, the majority of ads aren’t even clicked by humans, though that’s a separate issue called ad fraud.

“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,” says Pasha Nahass, a product manager for Google. “For advertisers, this can artificially inflate clickthrough rates and increase costs.”

With these set of changes, Google says the advertisers it works with have started to see significant cost savings. Good stuff.

[source]Google[/source][via]The Next Web[/via]