Is clicking an add without intent click fraud?

Comment from Does anyone else tip bloggers?

A tip? Keeping the PPC model alive and working? If you're clicking on an ad merely to reward the blogger, you're committing a mild form of click fraud and compromising the performance-based PPC ad system.

It’s reasonable to take the step of browsing the ads on a blog you would like to support, but you should click only when an ad genuinely entices you. Otherwise, you're doing all parties a disservice. At least that's this purist’s view.

That's John Lewis Needhams opinion. Of course, he does work for Google and since he's my brother-in-law he usually adopts the contrarian point of view. (Here's a picture of the do-gooder.)

I would argue this. PPC is someone elses business model and is simply advertising. Viewing advertising is not a promise to pay or anything else. If you're paying for PPC advertising (as I do) you know that your conversion rate is low. Advertisers are hoping that their landing page is targeted enough to get people to stay and hopefully buy. Using the web or clicking on a link instills no moral obligation to purchase anything. Google/Yahoo is pitching advertisers on a model that charges them only when a viewer takes an action (clicks on a link). Google/Yahoo or other PPC providers have no moral athority to determine 'why' someone is clicking on an ad if it's not a concerted effort to make money.

Clicking on a blogs link as a 'thank you' or 'tip' to the blogger isn't fraud. It's not even close. As an advertiser I want my business in front of potential buyers. If content based advertising works, any advertisement or ppc link that's provided should be of some interest to whoever's reading the blog.

Perhaps terrorists will be able to target the US PPC model?