Google confidently tells us its Display Ads appear on websites that are ‘relevant to what you’re selling’. Our own experience has shown that Google has a pretty broad definition of ‘relevant’, and the traffic Display Ads bring often have a much poorer conversion rate than your regular ol’ Adwords that appear on search engine results page.

With mobile apps and games emerging as a major source of advertising revenue, we’re told that as advertisers we’re getting more and more options to touch our target market.

But if we allow Google to choose who sees our ads, may we be unwittingly throwing our advertising dollars away?

Despite Flappy Bird going offline, the simple gaming app continues to earn its owner an estimated $50,000 a day  in advertising revenue.

But what value does it give to those whose products and services are appearing as ads while users play the game? Are these users in the right frame of mind to make a purchase?

In this hilarious read, company Aha! discovered that their unusual results were due to toddlers on iPads clicking on their ads during games of Splashy Fish. Not the intended target market for this software development company.

It’s a great example of how a Google’s profiling and targeting tools are far from fool proof. Sure, the device belongs to a 30-something professional who likes wine and designer labels – but whose toddler is going to log out of their parent’s account and log in under their own before they start jabbing at the fish?

If it was just the odd click, we could laugh it away. But Aha! found 99% of those who clicked came from an in-app tablet from a tablet. Which parent doesn’t pass their device over for a bit of piece and quiet from time to time.

Get the most out of your Google Display Ads

If you’re running ads with Google, it’s definitely worth adjusting your settings to allow the maximum exposure in the most relevant places, ad to limit worthless clicks.

If you can wade through all the settings and options, you’ll find Google does offer a range of advanced targeting options to help you better direct your advertising. It’s not as simple  as you’d imagine it could be, but it’s worth it.

Get started by taking a look at Google’s range of targeting options here.