AdSense for Mobile Success Story: APNDroid

Martin Adamek, one of the developers of APNDroid, recently received an email from Google AdSense for Mobile Applications, letting him know that they’d made some subtle UI changes to the ads. To enhance user experience, the ads now featured a button on the right instead of the entire text being clickable. Below you see APNDroid with the older implementation (left) and the new Ads (right).


The expectation was that this might decrease click-through rates. Instead,  Martin has seen his rates double since the change, which translates to more revenue from the ads for him as well. He doesn’t give specific numbers on CTR or revenue but does mention “a little secret.” While it’s only been eight days since the change, Martin concludes that the button/ad design change is driving the CTR increase. This is of course good news to mobile developers.

  • Wow! That's an interesting change-up. I hope this will shift to other apps using AdSense.

  • cece

    I had seen this change and found it to be a good one (from the user perspective).
    It is now much clearer, and you won't press the ad while you did not intent to (which is really annoying).

    About why he got more hits, though, I would say it is also because since it is a new layout/function, users did try to press it just to check how it works (I did, once or twice….). So I would not bet that the hits number increase will continue to be this high…
    Anyway it is an improvement. And the less people are annoyed by ads, the more they are likely to read some.

  • Kevin

    I had an app, it was getting occasional clicks. After some more use of the app on my part, I realized that there were some situations where a button would appear over the ad! I fixed it, and my CTR dropped to nearly nothing. So everyone that was clicking my ads were doing so by accident. They must have been infuriated.

    Later, I decided to try and promote my app with $50 in mobile advertising. I'm experienced with click ads. I've used Adwords extensively in a traditional web context. You can make $50 go a long with with Adwords.

    So I picked some verify specific key words and went with Admob. The $50 was gone within 2 days, with absolutely zero conversions. I've concluded that click-fraud is a wide spread problem with Admob and the like. Developers are intentionally placing ads in accidental click zones, potentially even putting the ads in places where a user has to click on it. Worse yet, I think Admob is not strictly adhering to the criteria I specified. There's zero transparency. You have no idea what is going on and there's absolutely no recourse if you suspect click-fraud.

    I hope Google fixes this, and I hope they don't have the same problem with their existing products, Adsense and Adwords.

    I do not recommend Admob to anyone purchasing ads.

  • I agree, some developers are intentionally putting the ads really close to buttons, kind of slimy, as it RUINS the user experience. I uninstall those that put me on pins and needles trying to be careful to press the correct button.