Posted December 14, 2012 9:24 am by with 1 comment

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Finger treadmillOK, you can step away from the desktop finger treadmill. Even if you have obese fingers Google is working to keep mobile users from clicking on ads accidentally (also know by the not so PC phrase of having ‘fat fingered’ an input).

Of course, while the end user experience is in mind here the real reason for Google addressing the problem of accidental clicks on ads in the mobile space is to keep the advertisers (the ones who pay to keep the lights on at the Google Plex) happy. Like click fraud in PPC, paying for clicks that weren’t really clicks can make advertisers a bit testy.

So how are they doing it? Take a look at these screen shots from the Google Mobile Blog.

Screenshots for Mobile Ad Bad Click Prevention

While it ads another step to the process it is a pretty good way to make sure that the mobile user does indeed want to visit that particular advertiser. Here is a closer look.

Visit Site Button

The blog tells us some of the reasoning behind this move

We find that most accidental clicks on in-app image ads happen at the outer edge of the ad unit, likely when you’re trying to click or scroll to nearby content. Now if you click on the outer border of the ad, we’ll prompt you to verify that you actually meant to click on the ad to learn more.

This builds on our previous efforts with confirmed clicks for text ad banners on smartphones, which we introduced a few years ago. In the text ad format, tapping on the blue arrow button takes you to the advertiser’s ad destination, whereas tapping anywhere else in the ad prompts you to confirm your click.

By expanding confirmed clicks to in-app image ad banners, we’re now making this improved user experience consistent across the vast majority of the ads that we serve in mobile apps. In our initial tests, we found that confirmed clicks notably improve mobile conversion rates, with a slight decrease in clickthrough rate as accidental clicks are avoided.

Love’em or hate’em, it seems that Google keeps making more and more sense with what it is doing these days. Gone are the free form, let’s make something for the heck of it times when Eric Schmidt was in charge. The Larry Page era of streamlining and focusing is starting to make Google look more and more like it really is serious about online life in total.

So we know that you either love Google or hate them. It’s the way the online space works. So what do you think about product refinements like these and Google’s direction as a company?

  • Cynthia Boris

    I think this is a good move. Marketers don’t want to pay for accidental clicks and as a user, I hate being whisked away to new content when all I wanted to do was increase the size of the text.