So, this may be a silly question, but are your AdSense earnings based on the number of times your ads are shown, the click-thru-rate, a mixture of the two, or something completely different?
And sorry if this shouldn't go here . . . but I'm wondering in relation to the Foundation, so I figure that means it's related, right
Also, since one is not supposed to click on one's own AdSense ad, I would assume this means if I am using the Foundation Publisher ID, I should not be clicking on ads for anyone else that is sending their contribution to the Foundation. Is that correct? (Hopefully the question makes sense)
[ Edit: Edited on 09-Nov-2009, at 20:44 by Wonkerer ]
Not a silly question at all, Katie!
Earnings are definitely generated by the number of clicks but how often the ads are shown would play to that also. If for no other reason than an ad can only be clicked when it appears on a page and since the ads do cycle, that rotation affects the click rate. I honestly don't know if earnings are generated by ad appearance alone though I'll double check the AdSense information. (I'm sure one of the Overlords will have a ready answer too.)
The only one who can not click on an ad is me. I am the "responsible party" for the Foundation's ID. Those who use that ID are allowed to click on the ads. (I also asked the same questions when the Foundation was still in the formation phase.) Since most of the contributors are anonymous, it would be impossible to avoid clicking on one of their ads unless you refrained from clicking on all ads. Even if you knew every contributor, it still would be a monumental task to avoid all of their ads. (Contributor names are not shared because some do wish to remain anonymous and the Foundation definitely respects their wishes.)
So, long story short - if you decide to use the Foundation's publisher ID, you can still click on ads that are of interest to you. (Though we could use the funds, I do ask that clicks not be made just to generate earnings.)
Isa now leaves to check on the AdSense ad thingy...
The adsense ads only generate revenue when they are clicked on, yes. I think Gretchen answered the question about clicking on ads very well. Bottom line is that if an ad seems interesting, you wouldn't run into problems clicking on it, even if it was your own adsense id. But you should be driven by the fact that you're interested in what's behind it, not that you'd get paid. Google also does quite a bit of fraud detection, so clicking on one's own ads typically doesn't generate you any money anyway. But like Gretchen said, she's really the only person this applies to when it comes to the Foundation's ads.
Thanks for the info guys! Just wanted to be sure I wasn't going to get anyone in trouble, by clicking if something sparked my interest. I was also curious, because when "buying" ads the rate that you pay is based on the CTR (Click-thru rate) which means number of times the ad is clicked on vs. the number of times it is shown. Didn't know if this was the same for AdSense or not