Google’s AdWords team has highlighted three important changes to how users can interact with mobile ads and in-app interstitial ads. The changes are part of an effort to reduce the chance that a user may accidentally click an ad when browsing the web or trying to dismiss the ad.
To start, the border around images will no longer be considered a tap target for clicking an advertisement. Google says its team has identified the edge of images as a prime spot for accidentally clicking an ad when intending to scroll past it. Now only the central section of images will be considered tap targets.
Next up, Google is deactivating the ability to click an icon on an in-app interstitial ad to go through to the app install. Because the X button to dismiss the ad is located on top of the app icon in this ad style, it says users frequently engage the ad when intending to close it, leading to higher click through without conversion. Icons on smartphones look tappable, though, so perhaps relocating the X and the app icon in the future would better serve users.
Finally, Google is adding a brief clickability delay that ensures ads must be on-screen for a short period before users can engage with them. Google says this allows users to properly evaluate the content within the ad before accidentally jumping to it, especially when users didn’t expect to see an ad.
For publishers, Google says the changes should decrease the cost of advertising and increase conversation rates. So far it say it’s seen a 15% higher conversion rate when using the new rules, which should help combat the 50% rate of accidental clicks that it says a third party study found.