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Google offers pay-per-action ads

In what could be prove to be a solution to click fraud, Google is now offering U.S. advertisers the ability to pay only when someone signs up for a newsletter, makes a purchase or takes some other predetermined action after seeing an ad.

Google announced the limited beta test of Pay-Per-Action AdWords on Tuesday. Advertisers set the price they want to pay, and the ads are shown on Web sites enrolled in the Google AdSense network. AdSense publishers can choose whether they want to serve pay-per-action ads or stick with the traditional pay-per-click ads.

Many think charging advertisers only when an action is performed rather than when the ad is merely clicked will greatly cut down on click fraud. Fraudulent clicks are generated by people paid to click ads over and over and through automated software programs.