Google Addresses Fat Finger Ad Clicks On Mobile
It just got harder to make accidental ad clicks on your phone.
The other day, I became some poor advertiser’s worst enemy. I accidentally clicked on an ad in an article like the one on the left above four times, yes four, while trying to scroll past it. It was located right where my thumb instinctively hits the screen to swipe up on my phone. My swipes were being treated as taps, loading up the advertiser’s website each time. Annoying for me and a waste of money for the advertiser.
Accidental clicks on mobile display ads are a big problem for the industry. To address it, Google has announced several new changes to try to reduce accidental clicks on mobile display ads.
- First, taps close to the edge of an image ad won’t be considered clicks. Google says it has identified the border area particularly prone to accidental clicks during scrolling.
- Second, for in-app install ads interstitial ads like the one on the right above users won’t be able to click on the app icon because the close button is overlayed on that image. Users will need to click the call-to-action button.
- Finally, ads will only become clickable after they’ve been onscreen for “a short period of time”. How long that period actually is isn’t clear, but Google says the delay is to give users “enough time to examine the content of an ad”.
These are all good changes. The fact that the app icon was ever considered a click when the close button is on top of it is somewhat astounding, but it’s good to see it being addressed. If you are running Google display ads, you might want to note the timing up these changes when reporting clicks and click-through rates.