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AdWords Display Ads Mouseover Mystery

     
4:39 pm on Aug 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've been playing with AdWords Display Ads and getting good results. The new Display Ad Builder makes production effortless.

But I've noticed something interesting. The Mouseover Rate is 10X or even 20X my CTR. So, folks are mousing over my ads like crazy, but of course getting no action.

Bottom line: If AdWords Display Ads supported clickable mouseover actions Google would make a ton more ad revenue, and advertisers would get way higher CTRs. A win, win.

5:47 pm on Aug 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Look where on the page your ad is being shown. I commonly see ads on the right hand side of the page next to where the scroll bar is located. If a user moves their mouse across your ad to get to the scrollbar, then that is counted as a mouseover.

Or, if the ad is right below drop down navigation, can lead to many mouseovers when there was zero intent to click on the ad.

Useful to look at a few sites where your ad is being shown more often and see if consumers are hovering over the ad because its unique - or because its in the way of a site feature.

7:01 am on Aug 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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As a user I would be thoroughly annoyed if just mousing over an ad would get interpreted as a click and my browser would be redirected. I would start to highly distrust such ads, and avoid them like the plague.
7:08 am on Aug 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Unfortunately, mouseovers can easily be accidental.
7:14 am on Aug 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Yep there is no question that this is caused by users passing the cursor over the ad while headed somewhere else. I don't see the mystery :-)
7:31 am on Aug 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Interesting point. Even if it's accidental, it should be able to grab attention (and thus increase CTR) when it has some sort of mouse-over change. Perhaps a change in link color, or link background?
12:21 pm on Aug 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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But I've noticed something interesting. The Mouseover Rate is 10X or even 20X my CTR. So, folks are mousing over my ads like crazy, but of course getting no action.

Is there a Call to Action in those display ads?

Personally, I've always thought a lack of a Call to Action was a general weakness of display ads.

FarmBoy

1:28 pm on Aug 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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eWhisper is 100% correct. Our company's own studies found mouseover rates to be really high for a number of reasons the 2 biggest being accidentally do to trying to access site navigation (footer, header, or righthand) if a banner is in it's path or a user sees animation on the ad and is curious what will happen with a mouseover, but doesn't have real interest in the ad. Your CTR will be close to the # of people that were interested in your ad minus competitors and click fraud and the occasional accidental click.
5:38 pm on Aug 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Your CTR will be close to the # of people that were interested in your ad minus competitors and click fraud and the occasional accidental click.

Which is one more reason why the price for all these ads has to drop before I will use them to advertise my products.

8:47 pm on Aug 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Which is one more reason why the price for all these ads has to drop before I will use them to advertise my products.

While you wait, others are using it and making a profit.

6:04 pm on Aug 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Great feedback, especially the point about mouseovers caused by access of site navigation. But, without some form of mouseover support we'll never know what's really going on. Note that I am not, absolutely not, saying a mouseover should cause a click. That would be total advertising suicide! What I'm saying is that the ads should support some form of mouseover action. Not sure of the exact form, but I have a simple proposal and will post it separately as a request for a "new ad type" for comment by all.