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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Facebook Advertising Suffered from Bots

The advertising business of the world’s largest file-sharing network now looks even shakier: recently it was revealed that a number of its advertisers are losing money to click-bots.

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What is a click-bot and who needs it? It can be set up by a competitor – the software’s goal is to click the advertisements so that the company is charged for clicks with no potential consumers seeing its ads. By the way, Facebook is not the only one who suffered – the problem happened on Google as well, but the firm keeps monitoring its clicks and tends to spot them.

Today a start-up company claimed it was leaving Facebook as 80% of its ad clicks were coming from bots and the social network was just being silly about this. Musician website Limited Run pointed out that Facebook also wouldn’t let it change its Pages name unless the company commits to pay $2,000 for advertising each month.

The musician site claimed that it decided to delete its Facebook page, since only 1/5 of the ad clicks it saw came from real Facebook users. Limited Run employed 6 analytic services and its own analysis in order to find out that click bots made most of the ad clicks.

The company confirmed that 80% of its ad clicks came from users with JavaScript turned off. This made it quite difficult for analytics software to verify them. In ordinary case, just about 2% of clicks typically come with JavaScript turned off.

The website’s co-founder Tom Mango claimed during the interview that the bot clicks were the last straw. He explained that the musician website will concentrate its social media efforts on its Twitter page instead of Facebook. In addition, the company considers Google as an alternative to the social networking giant.

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