|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.
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.