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Changes for What Constitutes a Click on Adsense Ads

Only URL and title will lead to click

     
5:15 am on Nov 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Google are about to implement a new change to the way clicks are counted. The background of a text ad will no longer take users to the advertiser's site. Only clicking on the Link or Title in an ad will take a user through.

I expect that this will reduce income for some publishers as accidential clicks will be far less likely.

Apparently it has been running on Google's search sites for a while. I understand that publishers are being warned that income may change as a result.

I should add that, at the the time of posting, only the title can be clicked on Google.com

[edited by: darkmage at 5:19 am (utc) on Nov. 13, 2007]

11:32 am on Nov 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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No the entire AdSense unit is still Javascript-generated. No need to worry.
12:44 pm on Nov 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yea, a LOT of times I will search in Google for something and I will just copy the URL from the ads and paste into the browser so I don't make the advertiser pay...

...as in: "I ignored the company's trade show booth and brochures in my mailbox and called their head office directly...?

Now, THAT's a funny idea. Why would you work against a well established cost-of-doing-business model?

Sorry, but I don't get that...

1:42 pm on Nov 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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@ WiseWebDude

--- I will just copy the URL from the ads and paste into the browser so I don't make the advertiser pay --

That is interesting cause i do the same thing, but about a month ago i started to see the URLs displayed in the Ads that throw 404 of you go to them, like tiny URI but site specific, however if you click on the add it take you to the site.

blend27

4:22 pm on Nov 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Hm, yea I've never had that problem...they always go to the site for me. Well another reason I do that is because if I am researching a competitor, I don't want to make them pay for ads just for that...I hope they extend us the same courtesy as well.
4:32 pm on Nov 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I understand trying to avoid accidental clicks, but since the ad’s whitespace will still be clickable, Google still gets paid when the visitor hits the other site and decides they find it interesting. We on the other hand, just lost our visitor for nothing.

What happens when Google’s 336x280 decides to display only one advertiser? You end up with a ton of clickable whitespace that won’t convert and may increase the chances of an 'accident'.

The Yahoo who stayed up late at Google thinking about this may benefit from the idea, but those of us already struggling will find it painful!

Fine, it is just another step towards competition, and that is exactly what we need. I really believe that Google has been slowly lowering the amount we receive, taking that amount, and reporting higher profits designed to drive up the stock.

Eventually, they will take too much and allow competition to enter the game (where are they?). When that happens, there will be a major change, one I look forward to!

6:38 pm on Nov 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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--- I will just copy the URL from the ads and paste into the browser so I don't make the advertiser pay --

That is interesting cause i do the same thing

[offtopic]
Someone should start a thread on this...I used to copy and paste also but now just use a toolbar that does it for me so this change won't have any effect. I'm suprised to find others that don't click the ads!
[/offtopic]

JAG

9:12 pm on Nov 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I can confirm that as part of our continuous efforts to improve publisher monetization, advertiser performance and user satisfaction, we are changing our text ad formats so that only the title and URL of an ad will be clickable.

To clarify some questions that have come up, this means that only clicks on the title or URL of a text ad will take users away from your page, register as clicks in your account, and result in advertiser charges. Clicking the ads' whitespace will not do anything. We'll have more info about this change in an AdSense blog post coming soon.

As you know, this new format is similar to the format we launched earlier this year for AdWords ads on Google.com. You can read more about that here [adwords.blogspot.com].

-ASA

[edited by: AdSenseAdvisor at 9:12 pm (utc) on Nov. 14, 2007]

9:21 pm on Nov 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for letting us know ASA. That's good news. I'm interested to see what this does actually do. It's hard to swallow right smack at the very beginning of the holiday season, but I can understand why and that possibly advertisers can actually spend more if they get less accidental clicks, that's true. Next on the agenda all the parked pages? Taking them off of them? LOL. We spend a LOT on Adwords and it burns me up to see so many clicks coming from parked pages and we cannot opt-out from those types. Anyway, thanks for the comments!
9:51 pm on Nov 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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WWD: understand now, noble way, thanks for clarifying.
10:03 pm on Nov 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The font on the AdWords titles that appear on Google searches is MUCH larger than the font that appears on our little AdSense ads. In fact, it's the same size as the search result titles.

Also, Google users are already used to just having the titles of their searches clickable. So, this is really not a good comparison.

10:20 pm on Nov 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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When Google sends out a email warning of a possible revenue drop (the first in 4 years), watch out because it is going to be a doozy.
10:58 pm on Nov 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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What email? I've seen nothing.
12:47 am on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Never fails....right before the holidays, Google has to take a dump on somebody.
1:28 am on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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JenSense has a post on this including a good visual. In her post, she speculates:

...and I suspect it is to help combat the prevalence of "Made for AdSense" sites...

If that's the case, why not just deal with the MFA sites directly?

FarmBoy

1:37 am on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It is about time they fixed these ads.

On MFAs...
Google is the biggest in the industry and still whores themselves out to parked domains and truely good-for-nothing, scraped-content MFAs - makes me sick.

1:44 am on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I was one of the people who forwarded my warning email to Jensense. She really jumps on things quickly!
2:46 am on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I doubt this has anything to do with combatting MFAs, as Google knows who they and where they live. Combat is unecessary. Google only needs to flip a switch, that's it.

There is a potential upside in this if the clicks are rewarded better as a consequence. With the reduced clicking area, the user intention should be absolutely clear, therefore the clicks had better be worth more to the publishers. I am 100% keeping people from accidentally clicking an ad because those clicks pay low. I'd much rather people click on an ad because they are motivated to buy or sign up for something. However it will crappy on Google's part if they manage to improve the quality of those clicks and don't reward us properly. I think that's the big fear.

Of course there will always be those with sites that lack the proper focus for generating a quality click- I suspect this isn't going to help them.

[edited by: martinibuster at 5:35 am (utc) on Nov. 15, 2007]

2:47 am on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Only time will tell it this is positive or negative.

However, no one makes any money until some one clicks. Not Google and not us. I don’t think Google would introduce a new change unless they expected it to produce more revenue in the end. As long as our percentage remains the same this should have a positive effect on income.

If this change reduces Google’s take (and ours) I bet they system will be modified again.

3:59 am on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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<<<However, no one makes any money until some one clicks. Not Google and not us.>>>

Of course, there's always that nagging issue of our never having a clue as to how much our cut is. For years, Google has been taking more and more... and my revenue has gone down and down while my traffic has gone up and up.

4:40 am on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Of course, there's always that nagging issue of our never having a clue as to how much our cut is. For years, Google has been taking more and more... and my revenue has gone down and down while my traffic has gone up and up.

1) How do you know that Google has been "taking more and more"?

2) What does that allegation have to do with Google's definition of a click on an AdSense ads?

3) It's worth noting that, if a click isn't counted, neither the publisher nor Google makes any money from the uncounted click.

5:04 am on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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<<<1) How do you know that Google has been "taking more and more"? >>

Just a guess... and I'm not the only one guessing that. If they'd disclose what the cuts are, then we wouldn't have to be guessing about this, would we?

In business (and in life), if someone won't tell the whole story, then they probably have something to hide.

Here's the first page of the contract and yadda, yadda, yadda, sign right here.

5:17 am on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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A couple of observations. I'm afraid I have been unable to follow all of the threads related to income changes so I apologize if I am repeating what others have already said.

I presume that the clickable area change may have been responsible for the change in income that some of us experienced on October 19 and subsequent days. In my case, the only noticeable change that I experienced on October 19 was an abrupt decrease in CTR. I must say that it was not totally disastrous in my case at 20% and was somewhat offset by an increase in EPC which resulted in a decrease in ECPM by 13%. CTR has improved somewhat since November 3. CTR since November 3 has been at -13% compared to its pre October 19 level but EPC has declined leaving ECPM at -13%.

I want to emphasize that this change that I experienced had absolutely nothing to do with the normal ups and downs of AdSense. The CTR drop was instantly recognizable and totally unexpected.

Does anyone know if the clickable area change started in the area of October 19th? Is it being rolled out on a gradual basis?

5:51 am on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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In business (and in life), if someone won't tell the whole story, then they probably have something to hide.

Here's the first page of the contract and yadda, yadda, yadda, sign right here.


In business life, if someone won't tell you the whole story, then you probably didn't have a right to know. You can opt out and remove the ads at any time.

Your theory is strong apart from the fact that it has no facts at all to support it.

[edited by: Atomic at 5:51 am (utc) on Nov. 15, 2007]

5:54 am on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It is enabled on one my site for 350x250 ad block, trust me it hurts badly. CTR dropped by 40%. I believe that in long run my CTR will be like this and my income should go up per click.
7:24 am on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Great to see you back, EFV.

3) It's worth noting that, if a click isn't counted, neither the publisher nor Google makes any money from the uncounted click

How do you know that Google does not charge the advertiser from uncounted clicks? AFAIK, we do have just "Google's Word" for it, which I do not trust at all. I suspect they are happy to take the advertisers money and just not count the clicks to us.

Or do you have any inside information that is not available to the general public?

7:40 am on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I presume that the clickable area change may have been responsible for the change in income that some of us experienced on October 19 and subsequent days.

The warning emails were only sent Nov 12 and it said that the changes will be rolled out "in the next few days" so I doubt that that's the cause for the Oct 20 slump.

UNLESS of course, some of the publishers were used as "guinea pigs" to see how far the drop will go. It would help if the publishers affected by the Oct 20 debacle noticed any change in the clickable areas of their ads.

8:06 am on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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OK, on one of my sites, I've got a 125 square and a 120 sky on the same page... The 125 is still fully clickable, but the sky is the new kind.

On another site, I've still got fully clickable 468's and 160 skies.

8:54 am on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This isn't Google 'taking a dump' on advertisers - it's a really good idea. In the past, I've accidently clicked on the whitespace of a Google Ad, not really realising it was there - so this simply solves the problem. For anyone with a legitimate site, displaying quality ads, this can only be a good thing, as it will increase conversion, and therefore decrease any smart-pricing. For those simply herding traffic through the site, or doing things they possibly shouldn't be, it might be a bit of a pain... Good move from Google in my book.
8:57 am on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yesterday I saw SOME leaderboards with the new modifications. It's random, but for the moment my clickrate is rising :)
1:37 pm on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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My CTR dropped on Oct 20 as well, background is still clickable though. eCPM was unaffected (my eCPM took a nosedive on March 31).

Yesterday I noticed some ads without a clickable background and text on one of my sites, but today they disappeared again. My CTR yesterday was the highest of this month, strange.

This 107 message thread spans 4 pages: 107