I can’t help thinking there’s something missing from Seth Godin’s post “Ads are the new online tip jar“.
If people click through ads to thank the content provider rather than because they’re interested in the product, it seems certain that conversion rates will decline. The value of those clicks will then go down, possibly as far as the level they were at before. Worse still, content providers who didn’t encourage those extra clicks could be worse off because of that decreasing click value.
Perhaps a safer alternative is to ask your readers to look at the ads, and only click through if they’re actually interested.