Dave, Is it illegal if i compel my viewers to click on advertisements by AdSense?
If you have to ask, odds are good you already know the answer. In this case the answer is most definitely yes, though I wouldn’t say it’s “illegal” as much as it’s a violation of the Google Adsense Terms & Conditions.
Let’s have a look!
In the T&C, Google says this:
“Payments to you may be withheld to reflect or adjusted to exclude any amounts refunded or credited to advertisers and any amounts arising from invalid activity, as determined by Google in its sole discretion. Invalid activity is determined by Google in all cases and includes, but is not limited to,
(i) spam, invalid queries, invalid impressions or invalid clicks on Ads generated by any person, bot, automated program or similar device, including through any clicks or impressions originating from your IP addresses or computers under your control;
(ii) clicks solicited or impressions generated by payment of money, false representation, or requests for end users to click on Ads or take other actions;
(iv) clicks or impressions co-mingled with a significant amount of the activity described in (i, ii, and iii) above.”
That’s a lot of legal gobbledegook, so let me pull out the most important words: “clicks solicited” and “requests for end users to click on Ads”.
But let’s look at this whole equation from the other side too. If you decided that instead of making money by “compelling” viewers to click on ads you wanted to pay for advertisements on related sites to drive traffic to your own Web site, would you be a happy advertiser if you found out that your $100 ad budget went to fraudulent clicks, to drive traffic to your site that consisted purely of people who didn’t care about your product or service? Of course not. You’d be pretty upset, actually.
So that’s why I don’t really understand people who want to trick and game AdSense or other online ad networks. It’s just the Golden Rule from kindergarten writ digital: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. So if you can’t send qualified visitors to an advertiser, then clearly being “tricky” is bad for the online ecosystem.
In short: don’t compel viewers to click on ads. It’s bad for the Internet and it’s not going to work for you anyway.
A reply to your Adsense article.
Inside my website, I have a Popup with an HTML element inside showing Adsense adverts.
On top of the Popup says **Try This**?. The try this message will disappear after 10 seconds and then a **Remove Ads** message will show which removes ads if the user pays for the ad-free features of the website.
Based on Adsense Policy, am I in any way forcing users to click on the ads by showing the *Try this* message?
I would counsel that you double check with Google but it sounds like it’s a violation of their AdSense terms of service to me…
Thanks for the help.