Clickable Areas on AdSense Redefined

Google announced today on the Inside AdSense blog that it has redefined the clickable area of its text ads to make only the ad's title and URL clickable, instead of the whole block of text.

The move is intended to prevent advertisers from paying for accidental clicks on an ad:
"By allowing users to click only on the ad title and URL, we aim to decrease accidental clicks, better aligning visitor behavior with their intent," writes Katie Mandel, AdSense product marketing. "Overall, the decrease in accidental clicks will keep users on your website, interacting your content, until they intend to click on an ad."

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The changes began rolling out earlier this week, as noted at Search Engine Roundtable. Google warns advertisers on the Inside AdWords blog that they should not be surprised if they see a decrease in both the number of clicks and the clickthrough rate (CTR) in content network campaigns. It's expected that advertisers will also see an increase in the average return on investment (ROI) of content network traffic.

Early forum conversations finds the impact is not huge, though many publishers are seeing a drop in CTR.

About the author

Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.

Before the bubble burst, Kevin was a marketing manager for an online computer reseller, handling copywriting, e-mail marketing, search marketing and running the affiliate program.

With a combination of real-world marketing experience and years of business journalism, Kevin brings to ClickZ a unique ability to deliver news and training materials that help online marketers do their jobs better.