Paid to click (PTC) is an online business model that draws online traffic from people aiming to earn money from home. PTC websites act as middlemen between advertisers and consumers; the advertiser pays for displaying ads on the PTC website, and a part of this payment goes to the viewer when he views the advertisement.
The PTC model shares some similarities with pay to surf as both of these models utilize referral marketing as a promotional method. Furthermore, the PTC model is usually combined with a variety of additional ways to earn, such as completing surveys and simple tasks, playing games, shopping, etc. Users can then redeem their earnings for cash through payment processors as well as a variety of gift cards.
The viability of the PTC business model has been questioned, as fraudulent clicks have ramped up the expenses for advertisers. With lawsuits filed against the internet search companies, the burden has been placed on Google, Yahoo and others to determine valid clicks from fraudulent ones.
A criticism leveled towards the PTC business model involves the notion that a Ponzi scheme could potentially attempt to market itself as a successful Internet advertising services company under the guise of a PTC website, with the most notable case being related to Traffic Monsoon, which was officially charged with the accusation of following the aforementioned tactic, via a complaint filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
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