Facebook Revenue Climbs, but Click Fraud Questions Linger

As a Facebook advertiser, I have long seen a substantial discrepancy between what Facebook charges me (the number of clicks) and what my analytics software records as visits to my site.

The obvious issue is whether all clicks of ads result in a “ping” of the analytics code snippet on your site. With the new asynchronous code snippet from Google Analytics and your ability to place the code in the header, fewer visits should result in not being recorded.

The other option is that JavaScript or cookie blocking is in place in the visitor’s browser. However, this is a very limited subset of people who click on advertisements.

However, the gap is substantial – as much as 35% (or even more in some cases) between Facebook’s bill and the analytics program. This begs many customers to ask the question, why is Facebook charging me for clicks that don’t result in a visit to my site?

These clicks provide no value the advertiser. And actually, they don’t provide long term value to Facebook, because it reduces the success of advertising campaigns, turning the advertiser away.

However, Facebook has decided to continue ignoring this issue and raking in huge profits along the way.

Some companies have tried to sue Facebook, with limited success.

At the end of the day, you basically have to bake in this cost (click fraud and invalid clicks) into your campaign as a cost of doing business with Facebook. If, after all is said and billed for, you can still achieve your desired ROI, you’re good to go. Otherwise, I suggest taking your hard earned dollars elsewhere.

I suggest that Facebook up its game in this area and stop billing customers for click-bounces… Clicks that don’t register a hit on the customer’s server. I think a 3-second rule is a good idea – if the visitor isn’t on the advertiser’s site for more than 3 seconds, then they don’t get charged for the ad.