Facebook Claims 80% of Ad Clicks Come From Bots: Forbes

“FaceBook ‘Investigating’ Claims That 80% of Ad Clicks Come From Bots” is Forbes ‘headline.

No this is not sensationalism.

Over at Wired, Liat Clark reports that other advertisers have also noticed that Facebook’s analytics are behaving a little bit suspiciously. Limited Run decided to ditch FaceBook after another unfavorable interaction, where it claims that Facebook refused to let it change its name unless it paid $2,000 a month in advertising.’

More of Forbes back story:

‘We already knew that FaceBook ads aren’t as effective as some companies would like them to be, but it’s looking like a low-level of user engagement with advertising might be just the tip of the iceberg. A company called Limited Run is pulling its entire Facebook presence and leaving the social media giant with some unsavory accusationthat’s clouding the charge that up to 80 percent of clicks on its ads were coming from bots…

Advertising is always going to be one of FaceBook’s core revenue generators, but it’s had a hard time proving it can generate the sort of activity needed to justify advertisers spending significant amounts of money…’

My most recent FaceBook advertising experience
is just another story along these lines.

So here is what I experienced recently.

For 8 weeks I ran a local marketing campaign series for a client.

  • I tested 48 ads
  • All were CPC where possible
  • These included promoted posts / sponsored ads, plus ads linking to the clients website (client’s instruction not my recommendation)

When I looked at the analytics: FaceBook Insights and Google Analytics the results were so far apart the I believe there was too much attrition to attribute to Google Analytics skews. (Why did I not use alternative analytics software? Budgets).

I am talking about FaceBook stats,with consequent billing being inflated by over $300 per $100 spent!

What happened when I asked FaceBook for feedback?

I was keen to understand what was happening. I was perplexed.

Yes I asked for their explanation as I was genuinely puzzled, and I received an inadequate response. FaceBook emailed a standard reply.

They did say that analytics software created differences in stats results. (That was not new to me. It was what I told them in my email enquiry!).

My next step? Get FaceBook to investigate.

The real impacts of this issue

This hits the advertisers’ back pocket.


Super Ouch when, for a business owner, this is the difference between being able to pay a  mortgage or put food on the table.

Such FaceBook charges combined with Facebook Ads’ ever decreasing effectiveness drives clients to cut back budgets severely and seek alternative lead generation avenues. Facebook needs to change its model to reinforce ad budget reinvestment behaviours through positive results.

Who can justify a 300-400% difference?

Neither FaceBook or Google I am sure.

  • So if the FaceBook Insights are correct, then then FaceBook ads could be performing 300-400% less efficiently than their history proclaims.
  • If FaceBook Insights are incorrect, then they are overcharging or charging for hits not received (despite the FaceBook Insights reports)

I wonder where else the problem could originate from.

What do you think?

No matter where the problem originates, this is an unnacceptable difference, don’t you think? What have you experienced?

You can read the story and my comments on Forbes


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