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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]
I do think the change will be a good thing, although it isn't that big a deal. (There's a thread on the AdWords forum where several advertisers have said they don't expect to see much of an effect from the change.)
Anyway, I do hope that Cost Per Click will compensate for any drop in CTR if it occurs.
I wouldn't count on any immediate or significant increase in earnings per click as a result of fewer accidental clicks. The change in what constitutes a chargeable click may help Google to attract and retain more advertisers over the long term (which would be good for publishers), but it's hard to imagine advertisers raising their bids if they don't have to.
1) Ads on any given site should have higher cost per click
2) Advertisers should need to spend more per click to get the same number of click throughs, and they should be willing to spend it as conversions should rise (pretty much immediately).
I am not saying everything will carry on as normal, but there are some positives that will help offset the damage from the start.
I would have thought that this will affect different site to different extents: site design must have a significant effect on the number of accidental clicks.
The ads on my sites are (mostly) not blended (quite the contrary - it is very clear to anyone that these are ads), so that accidental clicks should not have been generated at all. I also stick to my design rule that links should be blue (like in the good old days of Netscape Navigator). Thus ad Titles and URLs are blue, the ad copy is black. Simple. Effective.
Then again, I noticed a while back that Google apparently is not counting all clicks as valid clicks any longer. But that's an entirely different story.
I'm earning more money with less clicks (and less visitors leaving my site) - i can't complain.
It might be a lot different for sites which relied on accidential clicks.
I'll have to admit I've been holding my breath on this one. Preliminary results seem to indicate my visitors know how to click.
I'm still seeing some old-style click anywhere ads as well as some new-style ones.
Till this is implemented 100%, we're all going to be holding our breath, because we don't know just how big an effect it will have.
Here's a theory for all you gloom-and-doom, conspiracy theorists: What if Google heard your grumbling and decided to temporarily yield higher rates or clear all smart pricing for a short time to allow the grumbling to die down. Then, when the connection can no longer be made to this change, they will gradually reduce our rates and leave us all wondering what has happened and what to blame... Then the aliens will abduct and anally probe you, but thats ok because the polar ice will melt and everyone else will be screwed too. Never say I never warned ya.
On the AdWords forum, the change has attracted very little attention or interest, so I'm guessing it will have very little impact on most current publishers and advertisers. What it will do is offer reassurance to prospective advertisers.
I have not seen any change, but then our ads are bold. However, there should be an increase in CPC since a higher percentage of clicks should now convert for advertisers...assuming accidental clicks were a problem.
If publishers had input into the 'market' then this could be reflected in the cost per click.
[edited by: FattyB at 7:32 pm (utc) on Nov. 19, 2007]
I am dropping in from the adwords forum, don't post much but thought i would give you my 2 cents on this issue.
I am a user of the content network, and since the 15th I have seen a 55% drop in impressions, an increase in my ctr, and about a 40% drop in clicks.
I have spoken to my adwords rep and as far as he knows ( or letting on ) there has been no change to the algo, only the change to the clickable area on the ads.
From what he has told me so far it seems to be a technical issue which the engineers are now investigating. I sincerely hope so because this is as damaging to us advertisers as it is to you publishers.
I'm still seeing no particular change in CTR or EPC (or impressions). However it occurs to me that I have a fairly low CTR website - one block per page, not particularly blended, less than 2% CTR. Anyone who's up there with say a 20% CTR or higher, I'll bet they are affected. It's the idle/effortless/accidental clicks that will tend to be lost.
Your comment is interesting given the problems people are having described in this thread: [webmasterworld.com ]
Looking at the ads on my site it looks to me as though I am seeing very poor quality ads at the moment. May be the problem is with targeting and selection of ads?
That might explain what publishers are experiencing (we are getting poor ads and therefore low rates) and what you are seeing (your ads are not getting the impressions they deserve because they are being pushed out by low quality ads).
The only problem with this explanation is that I would have expected more advertisers to be complaining about it. Then again, maybe advertisers are less likely to complain than publishers, especially about short term problems.