Do NOT Click Here
If every time you read a blog post or bit of online content you enjoyed you clicked on an ad to say thanks, the economics of the web would change immediately. You don't have to buy anything (though it's fine if you do). You just have to honor the writer by giving them a click.Forget about the writer for a minute. Think about the advertiser. Since Seth Godin founded Squidoo, a site which is advertiser-funded via Google AdSense, his blog post was particularly troubling. Aside from inadvertently condoning click fraud, the idea doesn't even make sense since many ads are CPM- and not CPC-based. Just reading the content generates an impression which will help authors who use CPM ads. For advertisers, this is yet another reason to keep search ads completely separate from contextual ads.
To be fair to Seth Godin, he wrote a follow-up post, attempting to explain he wasn't suggesting click fraud. However, that explanation shows a lack of understanding of who is paying for clicks. He writes:
The irony is not lost on me. The people who so desperately interrupt everyone all the time are now squealing because I'm recommending that more people pay attention to their offers.The problem with this logic is that the advertisers buying clicks are not necessarily the same ones buying traditional advertising. In fact, I suspect many of the companies paying for clicks are small businesses who buy search (and contextual) ads via Google AdWords or Yahoo Search Marketing instead of advertising which will, in Seth's words, "interrupt everyone all the time." The kind of click behavior he suggests will, indeed, change the economics of the web for these small businesses. So, getting to the title of this post, do NOT click here.
FYI, this post is my entry in the Killer Titles - Group Writing Project. If you are visiting from ProBlogger, take a break from reading the other entries and play a game of Squidoo TagMan. Think twice, though, about clicking on the ads on Seth Godin's Squidoo. ;-)
P.S. As a search engine marketer who came from an engineering background and a career in software development, I have a great deal to learn about advertising and marketing. That's why I read blogs like Seth Godin's. Despite my strong reaction to this particular topic, I find most of his posts very educational.
Tags: click here, seth godin, squidoo