Allowing advertising on a site is one of the easiest ways to make money from a site. The owner sells some of the site’s space for advertising, and then visitors to the site click on the advertisements that they are interested in. For most site owners this is as far as it goes; if the ads make money, great, and if they do not then those ads are rotated out to try something different. However, some site owners engage in some form of pay-per-click fraud in order to get better payouts, and thus create some issues.
PPC click fraud is, and probably always will be, a problem for PPC ads. Ad providers that use pay per click usually ask that the site owner should not encourage visitors to click on the ads or give incentives for clicking on the ads, and prohibit the site owner himself from clicking on the ads too often. It should be noted that some encouragement to click is usually fine; the ad provider would just prefer that the visitors to the site would click on the ads of their own volition. Nonetheless these actions construe PPC click fraud, which can create some problems for all involved.
The issue is that the business running the ad is running the ad to either drum up new customers or pay for their own site. Clicking on the ad creates several problems for the owner of the ad. The obvious one is that visitors clicking on the ad without intending to buy anything ruin the return on investment rate, the number of visitors compared to the visitors that actually buy something. It can also ruin the metrics of the site, a measurement of the demographics of those that visit the site. Although the site owner generates visitors to the site, it is not what the ad owner is paying for and is thus a waste of his money.
The obvious problem is that the ad provider pays the site owner for each time that someone clicks on the ad. In effect the site owner is stealing money from the person who actually owns the ad, as they are not receiving any real benefit from advertising on the site but are paying for the ad to be there. This is why the ad provider does not like it when site owners encourage visitors to their site to click on the ad in question. Unless the ad’s owner tracks their ROI meticulously there is no real way to determine if PPC fraud is actually happening or not.
The upshot of all this is that because pay per click fraud is easy to do, it remains a problem. Although too many site owners innocently think that they are doing the owner of the ad a favor by encouraging people to click on the ad, the more honest truth is that they should find an ad that works better for the site in the first place. PPC fraud will always be a problem, and it can cost businesses money that would be better spent doing other things and can be used an excuse to increase prices. PPC fraud may not affect the person who does it, but it make it bad for everyone else.