More Reports Facebook Ad Clicks Are Actually Bots

EDIT: I think anyone who is interested in this issue has to read this post by Erik Larson - http://wahanegi.com/do-not-advertise-on-facebook-until-you-read-this/

Jake Filan, Director of Social Ads at Kairay Media, wrote a really good post on Search Engine Journal about our findings when using Facebook Ads on a number of campaigns we had conducted.

Needless to say, there have been quite a few articles in the past month or so, discussing the quality of Facebook’s ad system and questioning whether a number of the clicks received and charged for, are actually just bots; money.msn.comdailydot.com, and techcrunch.com.

Today, we came across another post, this time from Limited Pressing, which details how they built their own system to test and track Facebook ads clicks.

We will re-post it here, as they are close to shutting down their Facebook page, which would possibly delete their post:

Hey everyone, we’re going to be deleting our Facebook page in the next couple of weeks, but we wanted to explain why before we do. A couple months ago, when we were preparing to launch the new Limited Run, we started to experiment with Facebook ads. Unfortunately, while testing their ad system, we noticed some very strange things. Facebook was charging us for clicks, yet we could only verify about 20% of them actually showing up on our site. At first, we thought it was our analytics service. We tried signing up for a handful of other big name companies, and still, we couldn’t verify more than 15-20% of clicks. So we did what any good developers would do. We built our own analytic software. Here’s what we found: on about 80% of the clicks Facebook was charging us for, JavaScript wasn’t on. And if the person clicking the ad doesn’t have JavaScript, it’s very difficult for an analytics service to verify the click. What’s important here is that in all of our years of experience, only about 1-2% of people coming to us have JavaScript disabled, not 80% like these clicks coming from Facebook. So we did what any good developers would do. We built a page logger. Any time a page was loaded, we’d keep track of it. You know what we found? The 80% of clicks we were paying for were from bots. That’s correct. Bots were loading pages and driving up our advertising costs. So we tried contacting Facebook about this. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t reply. Do we know who the bots belong too? No. Are we accusing Facebook of using bots to drive up advertising revenue. No. Is it strange? Yes. But let’s move on, because who the bots belong to isn’t provable.

While we were testing Facebook ads, we were also trying to get Facebook to let us change our name, because we’re not Limited Pressing anymore. We contacted them on many occasions about this. Finally, we got a call from someone at Facebook. They said they would allow us to change our name. NICE! But only if we agreed to spend $2000 or more in advertising a month. That’s correct. Facebook was holding our name hostage. So we did what any good hardcore kids would do. We cursed that piece of shit out! Damn we were so pissed. We still are. This is why we need to delete this page and move away from Facebook. They’re scumbags and we just don’t have the patience for scumbags.

You will notice that they had very similar results as we did, and as were reported from other sources. However, they went as far as to actually develop tracking to prove it further than we could.

Also I thought it was interested that they were told they had to up their spend and total $2,000 or more a month, in order to have their name changed.

Of course, it is always hard to prove any of the above, but it is another of many claims starting to surface about Facebook Ads being consumed with bots and extremely low quality.

Written by

Brent Csutoras
Brent Csutoras is a social media marketing strategist and entrepreneur, who specializes in social media marketing, content marketing, and viral content creation.
Brent Csutoras
Brent Csutoras
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