Google has updated its mobile advertising tools, tweaking its in-app image ads in a bid to reduce unintentional clicks on small mobile screens. Google found most of the accidental clicks on app image ads happened at the outer edges of the ad, no doubt because people were trying to scroll up or click on adjacent content. So now, Google has added a prompt to “Visit site” whenever people click on the outskirts of the ad.
Recent studies indicate that up to about 40% of mobile ad clicks are accidental or even fraudulent, based on the fact that people “view” the ad two seconds or less. This results in the advertiser being charged even though consumers had no interest in the ad.
Jonathan Alferness, Google’s director of product management for mobile ads, talks the company’s usual line about wanting to please users first. “These are weeding out the vast majority of accidental clicks,” he says.
But he also says initial tests showed that “confirmed” clicks “notably” improved conversion rates–that is, a product purchase, app install, or other desired action. At the same time, Google saw a “slight” drop in click-through rates.