Facebook Under Fire With Click Fraud

June 22nd, 2009 at 12:00 am

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Facebook is recently going through a problem with click fraud. Many advertisers on its pages are increasingly complaining that clicks on the ads that the popular social network site may not be a realistic view of clicks actually made by visiting users.

According to an article on TechCrunch, some advertisers have alleged that clicks not accounted as real clicks find their way in the results that Facebook comes up with. Advertisers even say that some of these clicks don’t seem to exist at all.

This scenario seems to be quite different from the type of click fraud that that have hounded many online search engines with pay per click advertising such as Google and Yahoo. On the search engines, the fraud is made by automated bots that click on the ads. This comes out as artificial and with misleading results, since automated clicks never convert into any desired consumer action. But the results that click fraud brings bigger ad payments made by advertisers since charges are made on a per click basis. It can be considered as a loss on the part of the advertisers since such automated clicks never lead to actual conversion in terms of sale or any other action.

At least, in the case of the online search engines, advertisers get to see if clicks made on their ads are automated and can therefore air their complaints. But in the case of Facebook, advertisers have said that the click numbers that the social network site comes up with seems to be quite high that what their tracking software is telling them. The number can have from 20 to even a hundred percent difference, with Facebook’s numbers always the higher of the two.

The big discrepancy seems to tell that there might be a problem on the way Facebook tracks the clicks. What the advertisers have been complaining about is the lack of response or acknowledgement of the problem coming from Facebook. But although Facebook has since sent out their own views on the subject and that actions would be undertaken, it still might come as a blow to the popular social networking site in the planet today.

Pay per click is considered as a big revenue generator. Advertisers may only subscribe to it when they know that they are getting their money’s worth. But with allegations of click fraud, Facebook may find themselves getting less and less interested advertisers in the long run. This might have a big impact on whatever revenue that Facebook may generate in the future.