Google recently announced that it would be improving the quality of clicks coming from their display ad network. They’ll accomplish this by making it harder for users to accidentally click on an ad.
The Accidental Click Problem
We’ve all been there. You’re surfing the Internet, chuckling to yourself while you find out what cats are up to these days. Then, it happens. You were trying to scroll the page, but an ad with an adorable picture of a puppy pops up just before your thumb hits the screen and you wind up on a dog shelter site instead.
Fortunately for you, you can just click the back button and get right back to looking at cats. Unfortunately for the advertiser, you just cost them $2.50.
Good for Google, Right?
Accidental clicks might make Google a lot of money in the short term, but it’s bad for business when the ads you’re selling don’t convert. To try and eliminate some of these accidental clicks, Google is implementing three new rules for display ad clicks.
- Blocking clicks that happen close to the image edge: On mobile image ads, we’ve identified the image border as an area prone to accidental clicks when users are trying to click or scroll to adjacent content. Now, they must click on a more central part of the image to navigate to an advertiser’s website or app.
- Blocking clicks on the app icon: 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. Instead, users must click on the call-to-action button to visit an app store page and install the app.
- Adding a clickability delay: Ads will only become clickable after they’ve been onscreen for a short period of time. This gives users enough time to examine the content of an ad and helps eliminate accidental clicks from users who didn’t expect to see an ad.
To illustrate the first two rules, they’ve provided this handy graphic:
Google’s betting that this improvement will allow advertisers to reinvest their savings in campaigns that provide higher conversion rates. The rules won’t prevent all accidental clicks, but they’re a welcome positive move on an issue that’s plagued users and advertisers for quite some time.