OK- I have a lot of mom writer friends on my Facebook friends list. I’m here today to talk some well-deserved SMACK about one of them. I don’t have professional contact with this woman, she writes for a few revenue sharing sites. As far as I can tell, it’s a hobby.
She posted a status update with a link to her article and asked her Facebook friends to… OMG, I can’t even write it here without fearing that I’d triggering the wrath of some site-slapping Google bot.
Anyway, I found another creep who was making the same request via his twitter status… so you can click here to read the offensive plea (if you haven’t guessed already)
I almost spit coffee through my nose.
She was publicly soliciting clicks. OK- I have a twisted sense of right & wrong, for sure. But openly and publicly asking for clicks is
Perhaps this is the law-school-mom in me talking, but EVERY ad network and every revenue sharing website specifically states in their Terms of Service, that asking people to click on your ads is against the rules.
Aside from being against the rules, how fair is it to the people who are PAYING for the ads. Click fraud is stealing. What’s she going to do if they have a tracking software that shows that within 10 minutes of publishing, the author got 5 clicks, ALL from ONE Facebook status update? It wouldn’t take a rocket scientist, or a hacker to see what happened. Especially if her articles are generally poor performers, except in that first 15 minutes.
It’s the “hobbyists” like this that give web writers a bad name.
The advertiser, faced with a bunch of clicks (that he paid for) is going to realize something is up. Analytics can be pretty detailed. 90% of my click-through visitors from this URL end up staying on the site for less than 5 seconds. Isn’t that interesting? Or how about “This landing page converts at an 85% rate, except when the traffic comes from this one article…”
If you’re writing online and not making money, don’t resort to cheating just to get a few cents. Either find a new way to occupy your time or work on improving your craft in order to make more HONEST money.
Click fraud affects us all. Advertisers will not be getting their money’s worth, your friends and family won’t want to click on your stuff forever, and soliciting adclicks isn’t a good career move.
Whenever you see click fraud, take the time to notify their ad network. Fake clicks drive up the cost of advertising. Imagine if you were to learn that the website beating you out in the SERPS was committing click fraud, using devious tactics to earn money that they don’t deserve. It’s like stealing from YOU. Its a bad thing.