Everyone has been exposed to ads online, but on mobile they can be particularly annoying. Users frequently find themselves clicking them by accident – which results in a website or app loading which they never intended to visit. On the flip side advertisers often see poor engagement results from mobile advertising.
In a recent AdWords update post Google have acknowledged that even as device screens have gotten bigger, mobile ad clicks are frequently made by mistake – many third party studies estimate that up to 50% of mobile ad clicks are accidental – that is huge! No wonder many digital marketers recommend excluding mobile apps as part of display advertising best practice.
Note, if you want to exclude mobile apps from your display campaign you can do so by adding the following domain to your exclusion list: adsenseformobileapps.com. But hopefully with Google’s recent improvements you will be able to have more faith in the ever increasing volume of available traffic from mobile apps.
Google have specifically announced three updates.
Blocking clicks of the image edge
If someone intends to click an ad, they will most likely click the centre of the ad. By excluding the edges Google will hopefully help reduce accidental clicks when people are scrolling through content, or trying to click a link or content close to the ad.
Blocking clicks on the app icon of an ‘install ad’
Given the proximity of the app icon to the close button this makes total sense and should not be clickable. Users will now need to click the ‘install’ call to action button at the bottom.
Adding a time delay before ads can be clicked
Ads will now only be clickable after they have been on screen for a short period of time. Google haven’t yet said how long. The idea is to ensure users have had long enough to examine content and be aware there is an ad in the space before it can be clicked.
If you have ever played an ad supported “free” game on a mobile or tablet device you may have noticed developers frequently design the ads to pop up unexpectedly. You may get into the habit of clicking the New Game button in the centre of the screen, and then the 3rd time around there is suddenly an ad there instead. By implementing a time delay, pop up ads or ads placed in frequently clicked content locations are less likely to generate accidental clicks.
While Google may see a decrease in mobile ad clicks and subsequent revenue in the short term, they are looking to create a better experience for mobile users as well as advertisers. While this may look like a selfless act, Google know that any improvement in ad traffic quality comes back to them in dollars as advertisers are prepared to bid higher for the placements. Plus with US mobile phone spend climbing 71% year on year (YoY) in the second quarter of 2015, Google can afford to stop charging advertisers for some of the accidental ad clicks!
Tessa has years of experience in data analysis and number crunching, following the completion of a Bachelor of Commerce with majors in both Finance and Economics. Since discovering the ever changing, complex, and data driven world of digital marketing and SEM she’s never looked back. Tessa currently manages campaigns for clients across a range of industries; specialising in the management of both lead acquisition and e-commerce campaigns. Finding the sweet spots to maximise the return for clients is all in a days work.