Tech insiders might be familiar with the term “fat finger syndrome”, but for those not in the know, it refers to touchscreen clicks that occur by accident. Google is eager to reduce the number of accidental clicks.
The search engine giant used its own AdWords blog to discuss what it has in mind. According to the blog post, accidental touchscreen clicks account for 50 per cent of the total number of clicks. Online advertisers will know that the cost of clicks can start adding up, and if half of them are accidental on the part of users not especially interested in a particular ad and its content, then that is not exactly money well spent from a marketing point of view. Google has introduced three measures aimed at preventing advertisers from having to pay for accidental clicks.
The first measure is the introduction of a buffer zone around images. Google believes that the edge of an image is an area on a mobile image ad that is predisposed to attracting accidental clicks. The second measure will see AdWords regulating in-app clicks by restricting them to the call-to-action button built into in-app interstitial ads. Previously, users were able to click in the app icon of an install ad, but this is no longer possible. Under the third measure, a delay will be introduced to enable ads to fully download before a user can click into them. This measure gives users sufficient time to consider ad content and helps cut out clumsy clicks from users who were not anticipating an ad appearing at all.
Google AdWords has long recognised the problem with accidental clicks. In 2012, it introduced a system of “confirmed clicks” in respect of banner ads. The confirmed clicks function requested that users verify what their intention was in clicking on a particular ad.
Google AdWords believes that its introduction of the three measures will enhance user experience and prevent users from involuntarily moving to a page other than the website or app they want to be in. The company also believes the improvements are a boon to advertisers because they cut the costs arising from accidental clicks and help boost conversion rates.