On Clicking your Own Adsense Ads
I tripped over an old blog post the other day that really made me chuckle. Everybody’s always telling you why you should never click your own Adsense ads, but this other blogger gave two very convincing arguments for why you should, even though you really shouldn’t, but it’s such a temptation, now, knowing what I know. Confused? Read on!
Everyone knows that clicking your own Adsense ads can get you in hot water with Google. It’s click fraud, pure and simple. Do it once and they probably won’t notice, do it a couple more times and you might get a slap on the wrist. But click on your own ads all day long and you’re going to be banned from using Adsense forever.
Don’t even ask your friends and family to click on your ads. If the same 50 people visit your blog every day from the same 50 IP addresses, Google will pick up on it and give you the ol’ heave ho.
But here are those two extremely compelling reasons to click on those ads that I’d never thought of…
Those advertisers are your competitors
If you’re targeting your traffic, then you’re also pulling in targeted ads that will be relevant for your readers, and that’s exactly what you want to do. If your visitor clicks on one of those ads you’ll make money, but what if you’re interested, too? After all, you’re blogging about that same topic. Maybe they have something interesting to say that you’ve never heard before? Better yet, maybe if you find out what they’re saying, you can say it better yourself.
Maybe you don’t want that ad on your blog
Advertisers play games with keywords all the time. And new advertisers who aren’t sure what they’re doing yet make occasional mistakes. What if you don’t want that add appearing on your blog? If you clicked on that link you could track down the advertiser, give them a good smack and block their nasty little ads.
You Really Should, But Don’t – Do This Instead!
Those are two perfectly valid arguments and I admit I’ve got an itchy trigger finger, now. It only makes good business sense to see what your competition’s talking about today or to block unsavory or irrelevant ads for your visitors’ sake.
However, the rules say “No” and you have too much at stake to risk it. Here’s what you can do instead:
In the case of text ads, the destination domain of the ad is displayed under the link and description. Open a new tab and type that domain in the address bar and hit “Enter.”
You’ll be visiting the same domain you would have had you been crazy enough to click on that ad on your blog but this way you won’t get in any trouble.