Mobile ads are the "future." But for many, this future isn't particularly bright, mobile ad rates are lower than desktop ads sometimes, significantly so. And this when desktop rates are at an all time low. Still, everyone's working to maximize their efficiency.
Google's latest change to its mobile ads is designed to increase revenue, but it's actually something that benefits users, perhaps even more than the company or advertisers.
Basically, Google now asks users to confirm that they've touched an ad in some cases to prevent accidental "clicks." With phone screens so small, it's not hard to tap on an ad when you wanted to press a link or scroll up or down.
Now, if you tap on the edges of the ad, Google asks you to confirm that you indeed wanted to follow the link in the ad. This is a particularly good idea since taping on an ad is a lot more disruptive on mobile than on the desktop.
It's even more true of in-app ads, since tapping on them takes you out of the app. Google has had this type of confirmed click protection for text ads on smartphones, but the feature is now available to in-app image ads.
"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," Google explained.
"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," it added. That is to be expected, but it's actually good for Google. While it gets paid for less ads, it gets paid more for the one that it does serve.
"This is only the beginning. As devices continue to converge there will be new challenges in the fight against what many have called the ‘fat finger’ problem," it also said.