Are You a Non-Ad-Clicker?

Chris Garret recently wrote about the suggestion that clicking on ads would be like tipping a blogger. Consider the opposite. Are you the kind of blog reader who would go to great lengths just to avoid clicking ads?

I’m like this sometimes. And it’s not only because I’ve grown desensitized to ads (ad blindness). But it also stems from being overly-cautious. For one, clicking on bad links seems to be one of the popular ways of getting infected with malware. Because of this I try to avoid clicking emailed links. I usually copy the URL and paste. Or if it’s a service I use, I type the URL directly. And when browsing, I always check the URL on my status bar before clicking. If I find an AdSense ad interesting, I usually just type in the URL–if the URL is visible–on another tab to see what it’s all about.

Does that make me evil? Or just overly cautious? What if all users were like this? Would the whole pay-per-click business model fall? Perhaps this is one advantage of advertising systems that are not pay-per-click, like those based on cost-per-impression, or ads that are not dependent on the number of clicks or impressions (like our very own Performancing Ads).

Not everyone is like me, though. People still click on ads. And I don’t consider clicking on ads as a hat-tip to a blogger. As a publisher, I do earn from ad revenues. But as a writer and blogger, I don’t consider it a compliment when someone clicks on my ads, because that means readers find something else other than my articles more interesting. It’s a tradeoff. Having people stay on your site means they find you interesting, and might even mean they will be repeat visitors. Having someone click ads after just a few seconds of landing on your site means you’ve earned a few bucks (or cents?) off of their click, but they’re now browsing elsewhere. Not everyone browses with multiple tabs or windows, after all.

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For me a better way to send your regards to a blogger would be to leave a comment, link to his/her site on a blog post of yours, or even just an email with nice thoughts.

Do you click on ads to “tip” a blogger? If you do, then clicking probably serves your purpose, and that of the blogger, particularly if you’re a loyal reader. But all he/she gets is that incremental increase on his earnings report. How about emailing your favorite blogger today? Or how about leaving a comment that adds to the conversation?

View Comments (11)
  • The problem with having pay-per-click ads on your own blog is that because you are not allowed to click the ads on your own site, it trains you not to click any ads on any site, even if you are genuinely interested in them.

    The more bloggers that use Adsense, the less we all will make from it, because it translates into more bloggers never clicking ads.

    This is why on most of my sites I am moving away from Adsense and going with pay-per-day ads from Project Wonderful that everyone is allowed to click without any fear of click fraud. And what is really interesting about these ads is that many are for other blogs and web comics…interesting stuff! I have met some great people and found some interesting blogs through those ads.

    I still keep a few adsense ads, though, since visitors from search engines seem to respond best to those, but I only use them on sites that have a good percentage of the traffic coming from search engines.

  • a better way to send your regards to a blogger would be to leave a comment

    Here goes my comment. :D

    Bloggers themselves don’t usually click on ads. It’s usually the visitors from search engines that find another link (i.e., the ad) interesting….

  • If enough people start thinking like Hayo, it won’t be long and the only blogs on the Net will be a bunch of crap that people do for fun instead of profit. Sure, there are plenty of crappy blogs that are done solely for profit but most of the good ones that I follow wouldn’t exist if they didn’t make money and I follow very few that don’t have any ads and blog for fun.

    “There are better ways to make money?” I don’t even know what that means. Are you suggesting that professional writers should find other ways to make money? The word professional means they do what they do to make money and it’s not just a hobby.

  • Does that make me evil? Or just overly cautious?
    No, it makes you a paranoid Windows user that has to worry about malware, viruses, etc. every second you use your crappy OS.

  • No, it makes you a paranoid Windows user that has to worry about malware, viruses, etc. every second you use your crappy OS.

    But I’m a Mac / Windows / Linux user. Often at the same time, with at least three computers running on my desk. Why does it always have to be a platform battle?

  • I read your post…and I didn’t click on any ads. Speaking of ads, you should remove them from your site. They’re distracting and like you correctly stated, not many people click on them. So why distract us from reading your post?

  • I found your point interesting and enlightening.

    I read a post by Seth Godin a couple of weeks back where he was talking about tipping people by clicking their ads and it was a different perspective on clicking then I had had before.

    I have never been much of a clicker unless something came personally recommended by someone I am familiar with. Meaning I would probably click on something you reviewed in your blog while I would never click on an adsense ad. Like you, I would type the addy in if I needed to follow the ad that badly.

    Thanks to your post, I now get why: I was afraid of getting viruses. Now just to be clear here, I used netscape for the first 5 years on the net and firefox for the last 2. My fear, as it turns out, was something I ‘caught’ in my early days on the internet before I even knew the difference between browers and other matters of virus.

    It’s interesting how something can stay with me even after years; like an obsolete or junk program just running in the back ground where I couldn’t see it all the while influencing the operating system. ;)

    In Gratitude

  • @Chris: are you going to personally pay us to continue writing content here? Didn’t think so.

    @app: fortunately, most of the readers of my blogs (as far as I can tell) are not bloggers themselves, or even if they are, they’re not really into ads, etc. I can see it being a potential problem on blogs about blogging, but not really on other niche topics.

    It’s true that there are millions of blogs out there, but actually there are many more everyday Net users who simply surf for information, entertainment, etc., who don’t know about or use ad blockers, and who do still engage with ads, so long as they’re not overly intrusive.

  • I think clicking on ads to “complement” bloggers is a pretty poor idea. If it became widespread, it would drive down the value of online advertising, thereby decreasing payouts (at least on a per-click basis).

    Web advertisers have more sense now than they did ten years ago, and they’re not just looking for traffic. They’re looking for traffic that’s of some pre-determined value for them. Traffic that clicks through *and* makes a purchase. Or traffic that clicks through *and* signs up for more information. In other words, they’re looking for high quality traffic.

    If a keyword or advertising campaign gets them a lot of bounces — one-click hits, no conversions — they’ll determine those keywords or that market is a poor performer and drop that campaign for something with more favorable numbers.

    I think this is why Google prohibits encouraging clicks. Charity clicks drive down value.

    As far as my behavior with ads are concerned: I click them if they interest me. I frequently have my ad-blocker turned on, though, since many mainstream sites have taken to loud ads, very animated ads, or takeovers. The publisher needs to respect the primary reason a visitor is on the site instead of trying to Clockwork Orange their market.

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