Mobile advertising is an unavoidable part of the Android experience - in fact, some would make the case that it's the whole reason for Android coming to exist in its current form. But that doesn't meant that it can't be improved. So Google's AdMob team has been looking at ways of making delivered ads both less intrusive and more functional, namely by cutting down on unwanted activations.

12-5-2012 12-03-26 PM

According to the post on Google's Mobile Ads Blog, accidental and non-intentional taps on the ad space are one of the biggest problems they've had to deal with. It's claimed that even the advertiser isn't too keen on accidental visits, since they're using up server resources on a customer who isn't necessarily all that valuable. Since most of these visits come from users just trying to use a part of an app near the ad, AdMob-served advertisements will now use an authentication process, essentially adding another tap if users should activate the ad anywhere except the "go" button. Using the example above, if you tap on the blue arrow the first time, you go right to the site.

12-5-2012 12-03-10 PM

This will only apply to apps using Google's advertising platform - apps using other networks will continue to use the more standard "tap anywhere" approach. If this sort of thing interests you (and I promise, it's a lot more interesting than it sounds) head on over to the Mobile Ad Blog for the full report.

Google Mobile Ads Blog

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Julio M

    They are going to rack up ad revenue from the people testing the feature.

  • gogu

    Developers love accidental taps. Admob becomes less popular going forward?

    • goku

      I agree. This isn't good for developers. Admob doesn't pay all that well from what I've heard. I've seen less admob ads and more of those ads that make want you to download other games and stuff.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        But it also means there will be fewer games relying on accidental taps, showing you ads randomly (ad-supported Angry Birds comes to mind, for example), hoping you misclick.

      • Jens Knutson

        Developers who were/are relying on this deserve to lose the revenue; what revenue they were earning with this wasn't honest in the first place.

        Besides, how was relying on accidental taps ever going to stay a viable business model long term? Eventually the people buying ads were going to figure it out, and stop buying that ad space.

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

      Some developers love accidental taps, and this will definitely going to be an issue for a lot of them. Still, some developers are hoping that the ads are more valuable and they aren't hoping for the terrible user experience to dominate the situation. I have a feeling this is a sign that Google is trying to raise the value of Admob rather than allow it to be the lazy, low-end advertiser that they were kinda of becoming.

      I'll admit, I was considering using Admob until I worked out a better solution, but I've heard that they pay so low that I'm not too inclined to do that. If this move by Google works, they will probably be able to raise the payout rates a bit higher.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        What's the solution you worked out? I'm curious.

        • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

          I'm sorry, I phrased that ambiguously. I meant it to mean that my intention was to use Admob in the beginning until I had time to focus on handling advertising the way I want to. I'm a big believer in high quality and meaningful advertising that is appropriate to the type of app and users. I figured I would release the early versions of the app with something generic (like Admob or another non-invasive option) and eventually move into either selling my own ad space or at least personally choosing the ads that go in.

          I'd like to find a good ad platform that has an acceptable payout rate while not doing anything too shady. I'd be happier if I found an ad platform that allows for directly choosing ads or at least a high level of control over what ads are displayed.

  • user311

    inc apple patent on this in...3..2.1.

  • Tim Harper

    Speaking of ads, I have to wonder why Brazil butt lift finds its way onto every AP mobile page. Are you trying to tell me my butt is saggy? :P just find it odd that i never see any other ads.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      You know, they look at your history of visited pages across the whole web (this is called retargeting). Now get to the gym, fatty!

      • Tim Harper

        Ha...comment fail on me! I still don't understand why it is the only add I've seen in a month or more...i don't go to a whole lot of fatty sites. mostly AP actually. *shrugs* oh well. I guess I'm a fatty :(

  • Mungo

    Strange, the Admob ads in my app have worked like this for at least a year...?