Facebook Advertising – Click Fraud & Scams

I’ve recently started running a number of large campaigns on Facebook with decent success. My biggest problem is that the data I receive via the Facebook interface differs vastly from my Google Analytics data. I tend to believe G/A data, like it is my bible, so I’m a bit annoyed. Facebook’s reply to my inquiry was the standard reply that GA only records visitors to your site that don’t have JavaScript blocked or cookies disabled, etc… I don’t buy this as the primary issue because the discrepancy in clicks is nearly 40%. And 40% of Facebook users are not blocking cookies and JavaScript.

There’s a big issue with click fraud on Facebook which is a little odd, because Facebook doesn’t have an AdSense network like Google (where click fraud is a big issue). But, from what I’ve researched on the web, it seems that some competitors in certain industries do employ methods for clicking on competitor ads to exhaust their budgets. Based upon Facebook’s immaturity in the advertising space, I’m curious to see if they are equipped to detect, prevent and handle these types of abuse. I would guess probably not… Even Google was a bit late to the game in this regard and still has it’s work cut out in my opinion.

So, I wasn’t too surprised to learn that Facebook’s #3 advertiser is a site called make-my-baby.com which requires you to install a browser plug-in before continuing. It’s a toolbar that is a Bing-affiliate… meaning that every time you do a search and click an ad, Bing and the affiliate (the website I just mentioned) make money. So, they just need to get you to their web site once and the money rolls in… clearly it is working based upon the amount of dough they are dropping.  Read the full story here: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/facebooks_3rd_biggest_advertiser_is_a_bing_affilia.php

Clearly, the only person who gets hurt here is the consumer, who gets a poor search experience perhaps… but, advertisers suffer because their rates get inflated as profits are diluted. I don’t Facebook or Bing care, since both profit from the situation. One shady toolbar company rakes in the bucks too!

%d bloggers like this: