Google Takes Steps to Reduce Accidental Mobile Ad Clicks

SEO

Google Takes Steps to Reduce Accidental Mobile Ad Clicks

Google has recently announced that they are making several changes to how their mobile adverts display and function in order to reduce accidental clicks.

Google has recently announced that they are making several changes to how their mobile adverts display and function to reduce accidental clicks. It is not the first time they have endeavored to combat this, with Google introducing "confirmed clicks" back in December 2012.

Confirmed Clicks

"Confirmed clicks" is a system introduced in 2012 where after clicking on an advert you will be asked to verify that you meant to click it before being taken to their website. This initial effort at combating accidental clicks was made after several news stories back in August 2012 reported that four out of 10 mobile ad clicks were worthless, and that "Fat Fingers" were to blame. The screenshots below show how this system was meant to work:

google mobile adverts confirmed clicks

Automatic Blocking Ad Clicks

Fast forward a couple of years, and Google still acknowledges third party studies that estimate that up to 50 percent of clicks are accidental. In an attempt to both decrease the numbers of accidental clicks as well as increase user and advertiser experience (no one likes accidentally loading a new website by mistake when browsing on a slow mobile connection) Google is introducing three new updates:

  1. Blocking clicks that happen close to the advert image edge — Google has acknowledged that the edge of the image is an area that is prone to accidental clicks when users attempt to scroll or click other nearby content. To click on an advert users must now click on a more central part of the image before they navigate to the user's website or app.
  2. Blocking clicks on the app icon — On in-app interstitial adverts, users will no longer be able to click on the app icon of an install ad as the proximity to the advert "close" button led to mistaken advert clicks. Instead, there will be a call to action button for visiting the app store page or for installation of the app.
  3. Adding a clickability delay — Sometimes when scrolling or loading a webpage the advert may suddenly appear just when users are trying to undertake some action. From now on, adverts will only become clickable after they have been on-screen for a short period.

You can see a visualization of the changes in the image below:

advert clickable delay

Increased Conversion Rate & Better User Experience

Google has already released some figures saying that to date they have seen a 15 percent average conversion rate lift on display adverts due to more qualified clicks being generated. Google commented:

These latest click quality enhancements improve the user experience by keeping them within their desired website or app and not involuntarily taking them to another page. They also benefit advertisers by reducing costs from accidental clicks and improving conversion rates. To date, we’ve seen a 15 percent average conversion rate lift on display ads by driving more qualified clicks with these updates.

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