A month ago, I posted “Why You Can’t Make Any Money with AdWords” which discussed pay-per-click advertising fraud. Now there is a related story about Facebook ads.
Limited Run, a New York start-up company says that they found what looks like bots clicking their Facebook ads, and burning up their advertising budget. They are shutting down their Facebook page. Read their account here (while the page is still up at Facebook.) Read the TPM story here.
Their is no way that Facebook or Google can stop criminals from clicking on your ads. However, they can scrutinize traffic and give you refunds for fishy-looking clicks. Google AdWords does that; I don’t know about Facebook.
Google has a much larger policing problem because sites that run AdSense have an incentive to click on ads that appear on their site – at least until Google catches them. As far as I can tell, Facebook doesn’t have revenue sharing, so you can’t make any money by hiring a shady character with a bot network to click the ads that appear on your Facebook profile.
A possible motive to click Facebook ads could come from short-sellers. Right? You put on your short position, you fire up the bots, and then you sit back and wait for Facebook’s advertisers to raise a stink.
In any case, it’s Facebook’s responsibility to deliver real leads to their advertisers no matter what the bad guys are doing. And if Facebook doesn’t have a click-fraud detection system, and refund policy, in place now, they had better get one fast.