Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Limited Run and Facebook

So it's all over the news that Limited Run and Facebook are squaring off about click fraud. No big surprise, you can't be a large advertising platform and NOT eventually make the news.  So let's do a bit of analysis on it. Of course we can only speak for the traffic we've captured through our beta testing program, we can't speak for Facebook or Limited Run.

Javascript vs. No Javascript

We are also interested in the javascript vs. no javascript end of things on our system. However, we determined that 1.4% of all traffic didn't have javascript enabled. We also determined that 1.5% of all pageviews had no javascript enabled. That's significantly different than what Limited Run was seeing. We all know that javascript and cookies are required for a large majority of websites that folks use these days, and fraudsters know that if you don't look like the vast majority....well you're not a good fraudster.

Secondly, if I were to write a good Facebook fraud engine that was bot style, it would be in pure javascript. Facebook is not a traditional linking system, with many things buried inside the DOM (Document Object Model) that give the fraudster the idea of where and how to click. The traditional scrape a web page and start clicking on links would be less effective, and no matter how shabby the Facebook click fraud detection was, it would stick out like a sore thumb.

Javascript vs. Conversions

So we dug a little deeper. We ran the numbers on the conversion rate for javascript disabled visitors. It turned out to be 2.2%. Not great, but not 0.  We did however find a number of paid clicks coming from these types of visitors, so we dug a little further, and this is where it got interesting.

The ClickOptics Test

Using our own fancy shmancy scoring algorithm, we then took all of the traffic that didn't have javascript enabled, ran it through our scoring algorithm, and here's a high level breakdown, which oddly enough seems VERY close to the numbers Limited Run was seeing.

Good Traffic (you made more than you spent)        - 21.98%
Not So Bad (you spent a little you made a little)  - 2.99%
Bad (it cost you money, you made none)             - 75.01%

Interesting! So you can see that if you breakdown the actual javascript disabled traffic itself, you start seeing some quality issues, but this can be misleading when it's only making up a fraction of your total traffic. Could this be the issue? Are we crazy? Let us know in the comments.

Closing Thoughts

In our opinion, Facebook advertising is a tool to increase your social engagement (duh). It's not there to service people looking to actually buy product and services. Sure, you can get followers, likes and the rest of it, but that could translate to 0 visitors to your sites and 0 conversions. This is simply because your target market is not on Facebook for commercial reasons. Use Facebook as a part of your strategy, but if you're going to be advertising on it you better have a killer Facebook page, with some very compelling reasons to have people go ANOTHER click deeper to your website.

No comments:

Post a Comment