Are Tablets Increasing the Number of Bad Clicks on your Ads?

If you are a Google AdWords advertiser, then you have the option of targeting tablet users with your ads. With the growing popularity of tablets, and the fact that studies show increasing home use for activities such as browsing, advertising is a huge opportunity.

On the Pingdom blog, they discussed a recent report about the increasing use of tablets and how they are generating CTR’s for ads that are performing 37% better than comparable ads in desktop/laptop targeting.

One hypothesis is the “fat-finger” problem. Simply put, on small screens, viewing a clutter website can be difficult – and interacting with it – especially click small links, can be quite a challenge. It is very easy to inadvertently click the wrong link. Similarly, if you are trying to scroll and there is an ad near the edge of the table, you may accidentally click the ad. I’ve done this many times.

The results is a click-through of the ad. I try to hit back as soon as possible.

The major search engines claim that they are able to filter out these types of clicks most of the time – clicks that result in an immediate bounce. However, I have not be shown definitively that this is indeed the case, nor provided any data to support this.  Of course it is in their best interest to not charge advertisers for these clicks as it will erode their ROI and the advertiser will not continue spending on campaigns. So for now, I’ll have to take their word for it.

But, perhaps we are not far away from a scenario where on certain devices such as small-screens (tablets and smart phones), when you click an ad, perhaps you’ll get a quick prompt saying, “would you like to continue to view this link”. Maybe something like this is a good way to keep people from miss-clicking and to protect advertisers who ultimately pay the salaries of the search engine purveyors.

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