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December 17, 2012

Google Fights Annoying Problem of Mobile Misclicks with New Ad Format

By Shankar Pandiath, TMCnet Contributor

The problem although small, is annoying, and Google (News - Alert) is all set to fight the problem of mobile misclicks with its new ad format.

The problem is of fat-finger ad clicks or mobile misclicks. In a company blog, Google said that it had data that showed that most of the time people hit the ad links accidently while scrolling a page, when they tap near the bottom of their screens. In order to address the problem, Google has now released a new ad format. It has added a step in the process of clicking on an ad. Before sending the users to the advertiser’s site, Google now asks the users to confirm if they meant to click on the advertiser’s ad. This new format will fix a persistent annoyance that spoils the reading or gaming experience for mobile users.

This move of Google will also be a favorable one for the advertisers. It will improve the conversion rates of mobile ads. The users will now click only on the ads they really want to see. The number of errant clicks that the advertisers have to pay for will also go down.

Image via Shutterstock

 “Implementing confirmed clicks is an important step that we think will benefit users, advertisers, publishers and the mobile ecosystem overall, and we’ll continue to look for ways to improve mobile ads for everyone,” said Allen Huang, Google’s product manager for mobile display ads.

Though in its nascent age, mobile advertising is a difficult but potentially a very important revenue possibility for companies. The screens on cell phones and tablets are smaller and thus it is very hard to display a tempting message on the screen of users without obstructing whatever users try to see on their devices.

Thus with the help of new format of ensuring confirmed clicks to ads, Google intends to improve user experience which is consistent across the vast majority of the ads served in mobile apps. As per the initial tests of the new ad format, Google confirmed that clicks notably improved mobile conversion rates. There is a slight decrease in click through rate as the misjudged accidental clicks are avoided.

Google has been steadily making its content display friendly for mobile devices. For example, the layout of its encyclopedia-like Knowledge Graph-which apparently culled 18 billion facts and connections from the Web, was designed to make the results of search query easy to see on a small screen.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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