When a user visits one of these …. sites, the Web page launches dozens of pages that are hidden from the computer user. These hidden sites are filled with paid links to legitimate websites. Unbeknownst to the user, software built into the …. sites forces the user’s computer to click on these links, sometimes hundreds of times, sending a flood of computer-generated traffic to legitimate websites. – Emily Steel
Note: I removed the adjective Emily used in her piece to describe these sites for its not that different from what JCPenny was accused of doing.
“Someone paid to have thousands of links placed on hundreds of sites scattered around the Web, all of which lead directly to JCPenney.com.” – David Segal