Posted November 14, 2007 9:57 am by with 16 comments

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It’s really getting difficult for conspiracy theorists to insist that Google doesn’t want to reduce click fraud invalid clicks because it makes too much money from it. Well, Google sends a "stick this in your pipe and smoke it" message to its naysayers today with news that it has made modifications to its AdSense ads.

Google Blogoscoped is reporting the changes include reducing the "clickable" area of AdSense ads to the actual link areas. Before, you could click in the general area and would still activate the ad–even if the click was accidental. Here’s how Google Blogoscoped suggests the changes look before and after (clickable area in yellow):


Obviously this not only reduces Google’s revenue from AdSense, but also the revenue earned by individual publishers. However, it’s hard to argue that the move is not a good one–if the advertiser really wants to click the ad, they’ll figure it out.

  • Hey Andy

    Looks like you’ve been lighting up to think this has anything to do with click fraud. The click throughs that this addresses are not fraud. These click throughs would be called an accident. While I am happy to hear Google is still trying to improve, it is empty.

  • @MikeOK – I understand but many people that think they have click fraud, actually have accidental clicks, that was my point. I agree there are still many other click fraud issues but I disagree that this is “empty.”

  • Hmm, well maybe they are not counting the click costing the advertiser, but the tests I have done seemed to allow clicks on the descriptions.

    I doubt very much this is going to affect revenue to any significant amount, and by making it seem better, it also adds counter FUD to any 3rd party doubt pre-Christmas.

  • Thank you for explaining this clearly. Someone else blogged about it and their picture didn’t make sense to me. Now I get it.

  • @DJ Nelson – happy to help.

  • Seems like a good idea. If someone really wants to click they still will. Maybe it will cut down on a few accidental clicks, but I’m with Andy in thinking that it won’t affect revenue significantly.

    People will just have to zero in a little more on when they want to click, but I would think most will still click.

  • Pingback: How Clickable is Your AdSense? » Aspects of Home Business Blog()

  • As an advertiser, I welcome this move because it will weed out more of the accidental clicks and I expect to see better conversions as the folks who are clicking would be the ones who REALLY want more information on the product.

  • Well they should take away the ability to click on blank spaces.

  • Google is thinking long term. It needs to attract more advertisers. With so much talk about “click fraud” on various mediums, advertisers are being more cautious.
    See this as a temporary drop in revenues to build trust among the advertisers

  • Zen

    It’s a good solution to reduce accidental clicks. Nevertheless, bots could still click them, right?

  • I don’t think so that Google’s revenue from adsense will decline, since the new ads can reduce the invalid click that protect the advertisers’ value, then they will to pay more budget for google adword.

  • i’am looking for “nofollow checker” where download this tool?

  • Chris

    What is rather interesting is that these changes did not take place in Gmail. You can still “accidentally” click those ads. Shouldn’t this change be across the board?

  • J

    I think the ads in Gmail look more like the new format Andy is talking about here but I don’t remember if they were different sometime back.

    I have to say, I have noticed subtle changes to Gmail of late. I am sure some things have changed although I cannot exactly put my finger on anything.

  • So, the problem that Google said was not a problem is, in fact a problem. As an advertiser. I would be concerned with not getting the value in terms of “viable” clicks. Guess some advertisers feel that getting on Google is worth the price even if the click value is dubious. Also, what is with the “formula” Google refers to ? Why don’t they just call it what it is, a refund.