Incentivised Clicks
Written by Paul of Springfrog   
Sunday, 01 April 2007
The number of members who apparently use incentivised clicks to gain huge numbers of entries to Springfrog's Cash Prize Draw seems to be growing at an alarmingly high rate.   The use of incentivised clicks is in breach of Springfrog's Terms and Conditions.  In the aim of making things fair for all members, I'm putting forward here a few proposals to try to deal with this situation in hopefully a reasonable way.

The ruling against incentivised clicks first came into effect on 1st June 2003.  The intention was to ensure equality and fairness amongst Springfrog's members who feature or link to Springfrog from their own sites, and who "spread the word" about Springfrog in order to gain fairly from Springfrog's affiliate program and draw.  It was also introduced to ensure additional protection to advertisers featured on Springfrog, including those who use Springfrog's Keyword Bidding placement.  You'll find that there are similar rules against incentivised clicks in a great many sites througout the internet.

A few people have asked whether certain situations would be classed as incentivised linking.  For example, so-called "Paid to read" emails.  The question is, are you only "Paid to Read" the email, with no direct, indirect or implied incentives anywhere in the "Paid to Read" program which may make you feel you should click on any links?  Sadly the answer in most of these cases, as far as I understand, is no..."Paid to Read" does not mean what it says...usualy there is a direct, indirect or implied incentive to click on at least some links in the emails.  I'd therefore prefer if those types of programs weren't used.

Autosurf traffic exchanges, from what I've investigated, would also be a definite no-no.

These are just a couple of examples and certainly not an exhaustive list. 

Dealing with the Situation

In order to fix the problem, I'm proposing a few adjustments to validate and limit certain types or sources of entries to the draw.  

I've updated the draw to record the referring url of visits which are made to Springfrog.  In other words, if you have a site on which you feature a link to Springfrog, if someone clicks on that link to Springfrog, the url of the page on your site which visitors to Springfrog came from will be recorded.  In most cases featuring a link to Springfrog on your site is fine and actually is one of the most  preferred ways of promoting Springfrog.

It appears however that many incentivised programs use some kind of redirection...to record clicks and then redirect to external sites. 

Therefore: 

  • If the referring page from your site does not feature a humanly visible link to Springfrog, your entry to the draw will be disqualified.
  • If the referring page from your site is a members-only page, and not viewable by  non-members, your entry to the draw will be disqualified.
  • Similarly, if the referring page from your site appears to be involved with an incentivised program of any kind, your entry may be subject to consideration for disqualification. 
When viewing your draw entries in the Springfrog Members Area, please bear in mind that if you do use incentivised clicks, any entries gained by such incentivisation methods will not be eligible for winning. 
 
Please also bear in mind that under Springfrog's Terms and Conditions your entire Springfrog membership may be terminated if you use incentivised clicks.

I hope members will welcome this in the spirit of fairness in which it is intended.  Any comments or ideas you may have are very much welcomed.


Hi, 
 
Can we also see the referring urls in our account ? 
 
Personally I currently often promote springfrog in manual traffic exchangers and in affiliate pages (the viewer might be incentivised to see the affiliate page but not to see what is advertised in it and rotates) 
If one of those options is not ok, I would of course stop it directly. 
 
I think the term incentivised clicks is a difficult one and opinions vary a lot on this topic. Many sites are promoted mainly thru manual traffic exchangers, FFAs, safelists and so but is it spreading the word or incentivising clicks ? 
 
Thank you  
 
Sophie
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2. 15-04-2007 18:58
Thanks for your questions Sophie.  
 
Yes I can program something to show the referring urls that your draw entries have come from. If you can give me a few weeks I'll include this in the Springfrog Members Area.  
 
I agree there are many grey areas and differing opinions regarding types of promotion. I've been looking into the Manual Traffic Exchanges. They don't look too bad to my own eyes, personally...but, there's a problem in that I use Google Adsense as a small source of income on some of Springfrog's pages. Having investigated things, it appears that using Manual Traffic Exchanges to get visits to a site is against the Adsense program policies.... 
 
Some particular sources for this information are: 
Someone called Susan made a post on a traffic exchange discussion at Linkreferral forums on 20th September 2006 which quite closely matches how I feel about this hindering promotion, but rather than risk having Springfrog get into trouble I'm sadly going to have to say the Manual Traffic Exchanges are going to have to be disallowed.  
 
With regard to the affiliate pages, I think that what you've described may be classed similarly to the Manual Traffic Exchanges...although I'm not absolutely certain I've misunderstood the concept that you mean. Could you maybe give an example which uses the type of thing that you mean? 
 
In general, probably the best way that members can use is to feature your unique Springfrog link on a content page of your own site, blog or myspace profile or similar thing. How you promote your own site is effectively up to you. Just ensure that the Springfrog link isn't on a spammy or doorway page, and that there you don't offer incentives to click on the link.