As Sundar Pichai said in the 2016 Founders’ Letter, advertising allows Google’s services to be free. At the same time, it cares about delivering high quality ads and nothing ruins the experience more than accidental clicks. In a blog post, the company delved into various measures that prevent accidental clicks and announced it was extending click protections to native ads on mobile.
First off, Google ignores super-fast clicks, noting that “it’s virtually impossible for someone to read, understand, and take action on an ad.” Specifically, ads that are accidentally clicked upon load are ignored. In addition to subjecting users to a bad experience, super-fast clicks provide little to no value for advertisers.
Additionally, Google ignores clicks coming from the edge of an ad. Due to the inaccurate nature of our fingers on a touchscreen, it’s easy to accidentally tap the edge of an ad that appears unexpectedly or is placed too close to tappable controls. The company found that users normally always click the middle of an ad and those clicks have higher conversation rates.
Expanding protections to native ads on mobile result in conversation rates increasing 10%. Overall, the protections Google has put in place on the mobile web and in apps prevent tens of millions of accidental clicks per day, saving users tens of thousands of hours.