I have tried to discuss this issues with friends and some web developers. As I understand, a Search engine generally earns from ads, banners, selling keywords (more common the keyword, higher is the bidding price since many companies will want it). Some search companies may track net usage to collect data and sell it to companies or to make it's sponsored links more effective by displaying relevant sponsored content as first search result, which increases the probability of it being clicked.
Lets talk about Google.
Google has pay per click and sponsored links, which are shown on top and on right side. Google will only earn if somebody clicks on a sponsored link. A person will only click on that link if he/she is using Google search. So Google tries to make Google Search reach to as many people as possible, to increase the probability of someone clicking on sponsored links. To surf internet, people use a browser. The most easiest and effective way for Google to promote it's search, is to have it as a default search engine for a browser so you do not have to go to http://www.google.com
to search something. e.g. Opera has Google as it's first default search engine. Free version of Opera prior to 8.5 used ad banners to financially support itself. After Opera had signed a contract with Google, by making it as default search engine, Google, who gets revenue from advertisers, funded OPERA Software ASA and so Opera no more needs to depend upon advertisers for it's survival.
In the same way, Linux Mint is 4th most widely used OS and so it has large user base. Similar to Opera-Google Partnership, Mint had signed a partnership with Duck-Duck-go. This will help Duck-Duck-go to increase it's reach to a new market and thereby increasing probability to get someone to click on sponsored links.So Duck-Duck-go will share it's revenue, (which it gets from advertisers) with Linux Mint, which comes from the clicks by Mint users using Duck-Duck-Go.
*It does not matter if we use duck-duck-go from FF or chromium (please confirm)
. Since FF is the default browser, so Clem has pre-configured so that duck-duck-go is the default search engine. If any browser that does not allow this customization than it can be banned by Clem. Coming back to the original question:
If you want to help Clem, then you should use Linux Mint 12
and search using Duck-Duck-Go and click on sponsored link.A word of caution
for the those using Mint 11 or below and / or using Mint's Custom Search
and the default start page of FF browser
) to help Clem generate revenue.
If Google identifies that an IP address is continuously clicking front and back pages and clicking too many sponsored links in a short time, Google may classify as suspicious activity, as they are not quality links that could turn visitors into clients who landed on a company's website through sponsored links or ads. (I hope I am not too confusing). If Google finds repeated behavior at regular intervals, than it may also terminate the contract. This sometimes happens with adsense accounts. Google is getting smart in identifying genuine clicks or hits day-by-day. It is a question of bread-n-butter
So the suggestion is to use CSE (which prior to Mint 12) and clicking ads should be done with caution. Not to immediately turn away from the page too quickly, either by hitting back button or leaving the active page and focus on another one. Lets hope google is not smart enough to catch it. - this is one the ones who do not genuinely click links, but just to increase the revenue. I do not want Clem to loose revenue, but does not want him to get into trouble. It is better that he earns less then his adsense account suspended. I know we are all mature enough and are just trying to find a way to support Clem, so that he continues to give us this wonderful distro.NOTE:
Since this is a sensitive issue, do let me know and I will edit this post or even delete it (if required), if I have given any wrong info or have unintentionally make Clem loose his Revenue. I never wish to do so.
Only reason you do not ping me is for my bad English
. No matter how much I try, I can never eliminate typing blunders.
EDIT: added the line after *