Now, I am a big fan of Seth Godin and that is why I was pretty stunned when I read the article Is Seth Godin encouraging click fraud over at BlogStorm. After reading the article I had to go to see Seth’s blog to see for myself and there it was:
If you like what you’re reading, click an ad to say thanks.
Now as a publisher of content I do like that people click my ads because I make money from it. The more money I make the more I am encouraged to write. But when you flip the coin (as Patrick did), I can see why this idea will eventually hurt the Adwords publishers. They’re paying for people tipping content writers but are not getting any value for their advertising.
If I were using Adwords I would make sure not to have my ads show up on sites where users practice clicking ads as a way of tipping the writer.
In the end this will end up hurting the writer as well as there will no longer be enough advertises to drive the fun clicks (above $1 per click) to the site and eventually the writer will end up earning less and less.
It is easy to see the point that Seth is trying to make but instead of clicking ads (as a tip ““ you can still click on them if you’re interested in the offer) writers should use a prominent display of a tip jar or similar. I don’t know how many people actually use it but I think it is the fair way to say “thank you for great content”. Nobody gets hurt and the ads can continue as always.
What do you think? Is it fair to “steal” from Adwords publishers?