As a Publisher who participates in PPC programs, I'm selling traffic. When someome clicks on an ad on my site, it is really useful to know how much I earned from that click. In what other industries would someone sell something without knowing the price of what they've just sold?
People buy stuff all the time without knowing the price of what they've bought. Like my electricity bill. I'm buying electricity by using electricity, but I don't really know how much I'm paying (the price fluctuates) until I see my bill at the end of the month. Same with my water bill and other utilities. I might be able to check, but I don't.
Mind you, I could look it up daily, call my power provider, and find out the current price of electricity. But I don't. I make an assumption that the price will stay within a tolerable range. Buyer beware the day the bill arrives.
But not so for the seller! The seller is supposed to be in control. The seller should be allowed to make an informed decision whether or not to sell, based on the price and other discretions. PPC programs do not empower the seller (publisher) with the information they need to make those decisions.
In what other situations does someone ever sell something without immediately being aware of the revenue it will generate?
Yeah yeah, it's complicated, it's an auction bidding quality score algo mysterious thing. Sure. But honestly, by the time ads appear on my page, the provider should have figured out how much the advertiser is going to pay if that link is clicked. This is information they are deliberately withholding.
How many two-bit advertising programs have I signed up for, implemented on my blog, run for a few weeks to "try them out", then discarded when I see that they've earned less than a few pennies? I've donated hundreds of clicks to these programs, with no idea what they will earn, if anything. In fact I'm running one right now on a trial basis. So far it looks like the CPC is measured in micropennies.
Come one, come all! I'm selling traffic! For free! Take my clicks, please!