Sometimes people will click on the advertisements that are on a friend’s website so that their friend will earn a little bit of money. I highly recommend that you don’t do this. You should almost never click on the advertisements on your friend’s websites. There are multiple reasons why you should not do this.
- For starters, it is easy for an advertising network, like Google Adsense for instance, to detect when you are doing this. There is a Google cookie planted on your hard drive every time a page loads that has Adsense on it. That allows them to identify you to some extent. There is other information that is also recorded about you such as your IP address, your browser version, and which websites you came from before arriving at your friends. You may have had cookies on your computer that have been tracking you for months. Those would be very good unique identifiers. Google has gotten exceptionally good at detecting unnatural clicks. They will penalize your friend if there is a lot of this going on. Your friend could even lose their Adsense account permanently.
- Clicking on someone’s advertisements for the sole purpose of getting that person paid is called click fraud. It is actually a fraud. You are essentially stealing money from the advertiser and giving it to your friend when you know there is a zero chance of your click converting into a sale for that advertiser. It is like being a shoplifter. Are you a shoplifter in a regular store? How would you feel if you caught someone shoplifting in your store?
- By clicking on an advertisement on your friend’s web page with absolutely no intention of buying is a good way to lower the conversion rate on your friend. That is another identifier that places like Google can and do monitor. If your friend’s conversion rate is far below the average or typical conversion rate for that advertisement, then Google is going to be suspicious. You will draw the eyes of auditors to your friend’s web page or website. These people will watch to see what is going on. Ultimately your friend will suffer in one-way shape or form.
- The only time you should click on an advertisement on your friend’s page is if the advertisement actually interests you. Just act naturally. The advertiser will be able to tell if the click was natural or not. Believe me, they can tell. People will try to get around the tracking thing by only clicking once in a while. It is true that you probably won’t get caught doing that. However, the benefits your friend will experience are only short term. She might get a couple of extra dollars this month from advertising. In the long run, with lower conversions, her ads will pay less and less. So, inevitably she ends up losing on the deal.
You probably thought you were helping your friends out when you did this. Keep in mind that you aren’t helping them out in the long run. In the long run, the advertisers look for places that are the best investment for them. Smart advertisers will actually bid against one another for those most lucrative spots. That is where the big money is made in advertising. This will never happen for your friend if people are doing click fraud on their pages.
The right way to help your friends out is to do things that will help drive the right kind of traffic to their website so that they can profit from it honestly. If you are doing that, then nobody is going to mind. Everyone benefits in that scenario.