As someone who knows firsthand how disappointing pay-per-click ad revenue can be sometimes, when I read a blog post I like, I tend to click on a couple of ads to, er, show my appreciation. However, the other day I read something that will change how I do things.
I saw an article online that discussed Google AdSense and problems with bloggers faking clicks. Apparently many AdSense clients track visits that comes from those ads, so if someone just clicks the ad and backs out immediately, they know. And if that happens from the same website or blog too many times, it's a pretty good guess that the owner of that site has people clicking ads for him in order to artificially inflate his ad revenue.
Keep this in mind if you like to click on ads to help bloggers. It's a good idea to read through the landing page, and maybe even click through to another page on the website, to give the ad a fair chance (read: so that it doesn't look like you're faking clicks). I also like to scroll through the ads and only click the ones that might actually interest me.
Interesting, on freelance writers' blogs, how many of those ads lead to sites like Associated Content and Helium...