Last November Google made a significant change to the Adsense system – they reduced the “clickable area” of ads (see their blog post on the topic below). They touted this as beneficial to advertisers, since under the previous system, site visitors were accidentally clicking on ads and not converting once they arrived on the advertiser site.
We were curious about whether the move actually produced a significant effect – fewer clicks but better conversion rates, for example. So we went back and ran daily reports for each of our clients’ Content campaigns.
We saw no decrease in the number of clicks and no significant change in the conversion rates. Of course, other factors were at play – since Google made the change at the end of the year, during the holidays, the beneficial effect could have been dampened by seasonality factors.
Have you seen changes as a result of Google’s “clickable area” change? If so, comment here or over on my Content Advertising thread in the SEW forums.
Accidental clicks fade into the background
Earlier this year we stepped back to examine the value users, advertisers, and publishers derive from clicks on content ads. As you integrate ads with your site’s content and navigation, we want to ensure a positive user experience. We identified a few areas for improvement and began implementing changes, starting with our new ad formats in April.
Continuing these improvements, we’ve just changed our text ads slightly to help reduce accidental clicks. In the past, users could click on both the background and full text of an ad, but now they can click only on the title and URL of a text ad. By allowing users to click only on the ad title and URL, we aim to decrease accidental clicks, better aligning visitor behavior with their intent. Overall, the decrease in accidental clicks will keep users on your website, interacting with your content, until they intend to click on an ad.
In addition, this new clickable format better aligns with the text ad formats shown on Google.com. We hope this format change contributes to a better, more consistent user experience.
Finally, this change won’t just improve user experience on your site; it benefits advertisers as well. We currently monitor clicks on Google ads for accidental clicks, and the format change complements our monitoring system by further ensuring advertisers only pay for meaningful clicks. By reducing accidental clicks, we hope to increase advertiser campaign value and satisfaction, encouraging additional spend and facilitating higher monetization for all publishers.