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Courtesy Clicks

Updated on July 14, 2010

Ethics and AdSense

What makes people post their writing online? Probably a variety of reasons like using it as an outlet for stress, or perhaps they want to share their thoughts with the world for no reason beyond they’re just that type of person. So what makes someone include AdSense in their hubs or blogs or whatever else they’re writing? They probably hope to make a million dollars by accident or maybe they just figure that making a few bucks on the side wouldn’t hurt anything. Of course click fraud is illegal, that’s what it’s called when you sit on your own site and just click your own ads for profit.

Well let’s take a look at these ads for a second. They’re basically like internet commercials and companies pay Google to include links to their product regardless of whether or not you actually take advantage of their services. Likewise, companies pay millions to advertise during the Super Bowl. I don’t even drink soda but I still like the “wuzaaap” commercial from years ago. I don’t drink alcohol either and often can’t remember which brand of beer put on which commercial even though they tend to be the funniest advertisements. And what do we do during a regular sitcom commercial, channel surf, get popcorn out of the microwave, text a friend, use the potty, actually do that homework assignment (yea, that’s me) etc. So basically, TV companies are paying for time to fill our screen until we get back. I guess they’re paying for our intermission without missing any of the sitcom plot.

So let’s apply this to the internet. Advertisers are paying for exposure and access to the audiences of web-authors. On TV you can just ignore the commercials, but on the web, the consumer has to actually out of their way to see the product so there’s a bit of a trade off, they pay for a target audience that will probably be interested unlike the beer commercials on my TV. So there’s somebody at home writing whatever they think is good enough to put online for you to read and frankly it’s the luck of the draw if they get any return on it. Really the fact that you’ve even taken an interest in what the person has written should probably be worth something in itself. Think about it, you’d vote it up or dig it, give it stars, comment or otherwise rate it. As they say, “actions speak louder than words.” It seems like there should be a way to actually do something for the author to show them how much we appreciate their time and effort to provide us quality material. Sure some people like the warm fuzzy they get from kudos given by a complete stranger. Others get their jollies from the comments section. Well, they also say “money talks.” Why not kill two birds with one stone and try out my new idea; I’m calling it a “courtesy clicking.” I was thinking about it and realized that if I like something that I read online, I should put my money where my mouse is and “courtesy click” an ad. If the Author is there for money, they'll keep writing what brings in the most revenue, so it's practically a form of voting for content.  I don’t have to stay on the page for ever. In fact I could right click and open in a new window/tab without even noticing it in the background. Or I can use the time that the ad is on my screen to go do the same stuff I would normally do if I were watching a TV commercial. I haven’t really figured out an exchange rate yet, but maybe what would be a 1-star rating gets converted to a 1-click to say thanks to the author (feel free to take that as a hint if you like what you've read). So the funny thing is that by asking what you think about this with the intent of you posting a comment, I’d be creating a double standard. From now on, I'm going to literally put my two-cents in as you'll see when you check your earnings.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouse Is

Do you think you'll be more likely to Courtesy Click things you read in the future?

See results

Courtesy Clicks Welcome

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    • gangly08 profile image

      gangly08 6 years ago from St. Boni

      has anyone had problems with this?

    • Lance Crowe profile image

      Lance Crowe 7 years ago

      John Barret,

      Very true. Many people think things will just happen and expect result to come to them. One could say that this particular hub is promotion of a good product.

      Thanks for commenting.

    • JohnBarret profile image

      JohnBarret 7 years ago

      Online money is a scam unless it is done just like any other business. Businesses are not done via magic it is done by Good Product, Promotion, and good backup and online money making has no exception of it.

    • Lance Crowe profile image

      Lance Crowe 7 years ago


      That makes sense and for someone like myself that doesn’t push products, that doesn’t really seem to be an applicable option. On top of that, my personal ethics won’t allow me to put out a substandard product. But let’s take a look at one of my best hubs. I wrote an article on Fighting Gravity ( that has blown away all of my other hubs by nearly double the number of views in about half the time. For a subject like this one, I can’t real push my readers to anything in particular. There may be a few people that would be interested in dancing and may click a link to a dance studio or by a black light, but most people are just here for the information so the logic of giving them less is counter-productive. Then again, I wrote this particular article for fun, so I really just lucked up when everyone liked it.

      Thanks for commenting.

    • profile image

      ristac 7 years ago from Northampton

      The idea should be to write enough information to make it an interesting read but leave the visitor wanting more at the point of where a cleverly placed advert sits.

      If you give the visitor all the information they require they are more likely to close their browser without going any further.

    • Lance Crowe profile image

      Lance Crowe 7 years ago


      Thanks for commenting. I love the Hub Hopping feature too, there's a lot of good knowledge out there and it's nice if the people who choose to share get a little something for thier time. News paper seems like a nice way to start out, you get paid whether or not anyone reads it. Then again, after a while nobody may ever read it again.

      Thanks again.

    • Gawth profile image

      Ron Gawthorp 7 years ago from Millboro, Virginia

      Understood. I would like to earn enough money to fill up my Briggs & Stratton one time.

      I do like this hub hopping feature. I learn a lot by just sitting down and clicking through a lot of hubs a couple of times per week.

      I started out writing for a weekly newspaper for a nickle per column inch. I think I've taken a pay cut by Hubbing. But it keeps the cobwebs out of the mind and you meet some great folks and learn a lot. Click. Click. (Locked and Loaded.)

    • Lance Crowe profile image

      Lance Crowe 7 years ago

      Thanks, Tara

      I look forward to reading more of your hubs. I can see by your style that I'll probably be returning the favor soon.

    • Tara Tufford profile image

      Tara Tufford 7 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

      Enjoyable, and pretty darn clever! I will courtesy click for approval:)

    • Lance Crowe profile image

      Lance Crowe 7 years ago

      Hey K9,

      A click and a comment? You’re my favorite for the day ;-) I’m up to about a dollar in my AdSense account now so I can buy a half gallon of gas and drive about 15 miles now. If I can get another 19 people to play along, I’ll be able to actually cash out and get a check in the mail.

      Nenad, you bring up a good point about click fraud and I don’t know that 5 clicks would really raise any flags whereas 25 probably would. However, if one were to click 5 different or competing ads, it seems like that’s the way Google is made to work and with today’s informed and tech savvy consumers, most people will do research of several different products before making up their mind which one they’ll go with. But I’m sure if it gets to be too widespread, there could be controls put in place like requiring an action like requires that you make a purchase before giving its associates a commission.

    • Nenad profile image

      Nenad 7 years ago from Belgrade

      While I like the idea in theory, I can see it leading to problems down the line, especially with the click per star idea... I know that Google's algorithms against click fraud are fairly sophisticated, and too many clicks from the same ip are likelly to get dicounted (so, rather then getting 5 clicks, the author gets zero)

      This would work if somebody did it occasionally, perhaps for a really good piece of content.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 7 years ago from Northern, California

      Great stuff and a courtesy click to you! Makes it very clear how things should truly work...

      Great idea and you should copyright it pronto!

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 7 years ago

      Well written hub that tells us clearly about the advertising element of the hubs.