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Reports of Deliberate Click Fraud on Facebook Ads Getting Attention

Yesterday, we’ve taken a simple look at what invalid clicks are and some rather innocent ways in which they could be generated. But what about the more serious cases, which would be downright click fraud on Facebook? The issue has received a lot of attention, as Facebook’s stock seemed to sink and a few high profile advertisers have openly criticized the social networking giant’s advertising platform. Some have even gone as far as saying that they won’t use Facebook Ads anymore and will be looking for other ways to generate traffic to their website.

 

Deliberate click form can also come in many forms. The most simple one is simply paying a user to click on ads, like some of the “paid to click” sites do. They would usually pay people (usually $0.01 per click, even less) to click on ads that are posted on certain sites.

 

But this could also be the action of a competitor that deliberately wants to push you out of the game by using up your advertising budget. If you’re a small business and receive several dozens invalid clicks that way, this will undoubtedly leave you with a very bad user experience at Facebook Ads.

 

Clicks coming from automated systems, commonly referred to as bots, have been recognized as an issue among Facebook advertisers. Now bots aren’t exclusively used to commit click fraud and could have plenty of genuine uses. Their main purpose is to crawl thousands of websites in order to search fro information or to collect (scrape) data, which would later then be republished on other websites. But when a bot visits a site, then there is of course the very real chance that it would end up clicking on an ad. Even though Facebook prohibits the use of bots on their site, this doesn’t mean that some of the more “blackhat” marketers don’t use them. If you’ve seen the reports on the millions of fake Facebook accounts that are active, you should know that many of these accounts aren’t simply someone with too much time on their hands creating a separate persona so they could troll or annoy other users. Many of these are used for the purpose of running automated harvesting software, deliberately inflating the number of “likes” a page has, or posting spam comments and sending out spam messages to users.

 

Now what has Facebook done to address the problem that invalid clicks have and their potential to have a negative effect on the company as a whole? Unfortunately, a lot of marketers that use the site’s advertising services would say “not enough”. Tomorrow we will lean a bit more in details about what some advertisers are complaining about, as well as what Facebook has said in an effort to retain many of their advertisers who spend money with them and essentially keep the site running for everyone. You will be shown some ways you may be able to better protect yourself, as well as what’s in store for the future of Facebook advertising.

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