New Google ‘confirmed clicks’ plan could depress publisher revenue

Publishers are once again caught in the crosshairs of Google’s quest to clean up the open web.     Over the last six months, more publishers using Google AdSense and Ad Exchange have complained of being penalized by Google’s Confirmed Clicks initiative, which aims to improve web user experience and limit publishers benefiting from people accidentally clicking on ads.  Like a lot of Google platform improvements, sources complain that it lacks nuance. The initiative — which has been around since at least 2012 — means that if Google detects a lot of accidental clicks on a publisher’s ad unit then it will layer on a “Visit site” message so users have to click twice to get to the redirected web page. The additional barrier can deter people, leading to a drop in click-through rates and publisher ad rates. The result, according to sources for this story, is a drop in programmatic ad revenue of between 40% and 60%.

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