01.08.2012

Techcrunch: Facebook Ads Being Accused Of Delivering Fake Traffic


These days we hear numerous reports about phantom Facebook Ad Clicks, Fans and Likes. Techcrunch just published a story of Limited Run - a Startup that came to the conclusion 80% of it's facebook ad clicks are coming from bots. Normally 1-2% of users deactivate JavaScript in the browser. This Startup found that 80% of clicks were not JS enabled. They made further investigations by tracking on the server side of their app which showed that those requests have not even loaded their site.

What’s going on? 80% is a strong accusation. Is this an example of a hysterical advertiser who hasn’t spent much but knows everything better? Or did Facebook even boosted ad sales to be pretty for the IPO?

What has happend? Others are reporting about unusual traffic patterns too. Jake Filan tells us about his ad campaign that increased the number of likes from 100 to 900. But after the campaign the new audience seemed like not existing. He found out that the likes came from mysterious user profiles that often showed no activity except of answering hundreds of polls and surveys. These profiles are clicking Likes in a high frequency with an average of 500 per month. Their conclusion is that the traffic comes from networks that generate fake Likes being sold as lead campaigns to advertisers. And to prevent of being directly matched to those campaigns their bots are clicking other ads by random. Considering this ‚by-product’ as the explanation for the case of Limited Run a bot rate of 80% is possible. However the average rate should be lower than that.

This teaches us to be careful when buying Facebook Ads or associated services. Facebook said that there have been measures taken against false accounts. But would you rely completely on it?

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