Firm Claims 80% Of Facebook Ad Clicks Were From Bots

E-commerce store builder Limited Run isn’t happy with the results on recent Facebook ad tests, so upset they are planning on deleting their Facebook page entirely. The firm is claiming that only 20% of the clicks purchased could be verified.

When analyzing the ad clicks Limited Run claimed that a whopping 80% of clicks that they were being charged for came from users who didn’t have JavaScript turned on. As of late 2010 the number of users who did not have JavaScript turned on in the US was only 2%. Seeing this information, Limited Run allegedly built their own analytics software that found 80% of the clicks were coming from bots. The claims mentioned that the bots were loading pages to drive up advertising costs.

The Facebook post states:

“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.”

However no IP addresses, screenshot or other evidence backed up these claims. Limited Run also claimed that when trying to change their page name, Facebook offered to if they would spend $2,000 in ads.

UPDATE: A Facebook spokesperson responded to claims by stating:

“We’re currently investigating their claims. For their issue with the Page name change, there seems to be some sort of miscommunication. We do not charge Pages to have their names changed. Our team is reaching out about this now.”

This isn’t the first report of bots meddling with Facebook ads. Just last week Search Engine Journal released a study that uncovered serial “likers” who would trigger conversions by liking more than 5 pages in a single minute.

For more information see the Limited Run Facebook post.

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Facebook | Facebook: Advertising | Social Media Marketing | Social Media Marketing: Advertising

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About The Author: Greg Finn is the Director of Marketing for Cypress North, a company that provides world-clasee social media and search marketing services and web & application development. He has been in the Internet marketing industry for 10+ years and specializes in Digital Marketing. You can also find Greg on Twitter (@gregfinn) or LinkedIn.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1467965532 Aakash Gupta

    They should have atleast posted some proof of screenshot of whatsoever in order to verify the claims they made. This could additionally made their statements somewhat easier to trust upon. Even my facebook campaign was utter fiasco. I’m not sure whether it was due to bad marketing campaigning or due to Bots.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1467965532 Aakash Gupta

    They should have atleast posted some proof of screenshot or whatsoever in
    order to verify the claims they made. This could additionally made their
    statements somewhat easier to trust upon. Even my facebook campaign was
    utter fiasco. I’m not sure whether it was due to bad marketing
    campaigning or due to Bots.

  • Shelli Buhr

    This makes perfect sense to me because every time we click on a page, a media source, etc, we end up picking up their app’s. There are ways around it, like changing your settings to ALLOW ONLY ME to see the posts, so the outside doesnt know you have all this crap in your site.

    And its good to change your passwords every few months. I know its a pain but well worth it!

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