Our PPC Expert Breaks Down Google's Decision to Kill adsenseformobileapps.com Exclusions

Change is hard. 

When you've been working with a specific process and rely on it to achieve consistent results, it can be a bit jarring to get the news that you'll no longer have access to a tool you rely on. 

Google recently shared that starting September 2018 "the adsenseformobileapps.com exclusion and the GMob mobile app non-interstitial exclusion will no longer be available within Google Ads.”

As a PPC marketer, I've been noticing some reasonably gutted reactions throughout my networks: 



I've been working out my own thoughts on what this change means for PPC marketers, what it means for my clients, and what opportunities can be wrung out from what initially seemed like a confusing decision from Google. 

What is adsenseformobileapps.com? 

For quite a long time now account managers running paid ads on Google display network would be able to cut out a lot of low-quality traffic by adding an account/campaign placement exclusion called Adsenseformobileapps.com. This would stop your ads from showing on mobile apps.  

It might seem counterintuitive to want to prevent your ads from displaying on mobile apps but the quality of traffic has been consistently low because it's so easy to accidentally click on mobile. 

Trying to use your flashlight in the dark and accidentally click on an ad?: Mobile App. Toddler playing on your tablet and accidentally clicks on an ad?: Mobile App. About to win a big poker hand on your phone and magically, as if the app knows where your thumb is, an ad slides in at the last moment to capture your click?: Mobile App. 

These scenarios drive in low quality traffic at a high rate. Here's an example of what that looks like: 


Isn't all traffic good? What makes this low-quality? 

We took a look at 5 accounts, spending anywhere from 30k - 100k a month, with different business models ranging from eCommerce to B2B services. Then, we looked at Mobile App clicks that slipped through the cracks over the years through new campaigns or account managers that might have been briefly testing something new.  

Those 5 accounts spent $3,220.55 on Mobile App inventory and received 6 Conversions. Most of the conversions came from a single Antivirus Mobile App on one specific campaign within one account. That’s a $536.75 aggregate Cost Per Acquisition on accounts that average $100-$250 CPAs. It’s not good traffic.

Why is Google doing this now?

Google is doing this now because they say users are spending increasing amounts of time on a) mobile and b) mobile apps, so they want to stay in front of them where they are. Makes sense.

So, why the pushback from PPC Marketers?

I remember Mike Rhodes, a PPC and Google Ads expert, sharing some crazy stats at a conference. He stated that up to 90% of advertisers steer clear of the Google Display Network. Though that number is coming down a bit, it's still incredibly high. Why? Because they’ve tried it, wasted money, and decided that search campaigns are the only proven sources of ROI.

This is putting all the pressure on account managers to cut out mobile app traffic constantly and will result in an uptick in wasted spend. Google will feel an increase in profit from this, but the backlash could be less and less engagement from advertisers on the Google Display Network.  

Is there hope?

Marketers are about to have a load of new inventory to work with. According to Google, “you may see a significant increase in mobile apps or mobile web traffic”.

I think it's going to take a new mindset and approach for account managers and require a boatload of work to make sure traffic remains at a high quality level. 

The team at Zato Marketing sees the silver lining as: "This change may be that the smart advertiser can do some digging, find some good app categories layered on with their other demographic targets, and get ridic-u-cheap traffic accomplishing their goal of getting in front of TOFU (top of funnel) visitors at low cost.

Rely on display and need help with your Mobile App placements? Tuff can help guide you towards greater ROI. Reach out to us for a Free Consultation.

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