Click fraud is the process of generating disingenuous clicks. It can take place anywhere along the ad buying/selling chain, for example:
- Ad agencies who want to impress their clients so click on their ads a lot to drive up CTR
- Website owners who want to impress Ad Networks/Advertisers so click on their ads a lot to drive up CTR
- Website owners who want to cost their rivals money by clicking on their rivals ads a lot hoping they are paying on a CPC basis
- Website owners who want to earn more money from their site by clicking on them (if they are paid on a CPC basis)
It may seem like a good idea to you to spend hours every day clicking on ads to try and change an outcome – but networks can tell and you’ll get in trouble. In some countries it is now an actual crime, but even where it is not you will still be banned entirely from using that ad network, and will not be paid even for the legitimate ads you do serve, so don’t do it!
There are no positive outcomes from committing click fraud. Even if you get away with it, the amount of clicks you will have to generate to make your activity at all worthwhile is prohibitive. If you do manage a substantial amount of clicks, most services will filter them out anyway as they will all come from the same IP and within a short time frame (which is of course suspicious!).