Beware: Facebook ads are now fake traffic from click bots

New Member
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I have had my store for one year now.  I always had about a 70-80 precent conversion from my homepage to the product page.  Middle of May that changed to about 10%.  My sales plummeted.  I thought it was maybe seasonal but it never came back up.  I installed Hotjar to see what was happening.  Then I discovered that almost ALL of my traffic was not real people.  First, some of my clicks were from India, Spain and Mexico.  Second, you can watch the user behavior as they sit at the homepage for 30 seconds, scroll for a split second and click out.  It happens over and over and over.  These are not real people.  My ads are getting gobbled up by click bots/ click farms or whatever you want to call it.  No matter how I target my ads, the click bots find me and gobble up my ad spend.  Facebook won't respond.  I see other Facebook users complaining of the exact same thing but they also get no response.  Becareful out there, this is a business killer!  Anyone else having the same issues?

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Tourist
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Hi Marc! I am happy that you are able to open up this kind of topic. I am also using Facebook ads. Have you tried to setup ads which with a different goal? Instead of paying of click you can opt to setup and pay for conversion or try paying for impression. "some of my clicks were from India, Spain and Mexico" your target is worldwide? or did you add these places in your targeting? Or FB just automatically showed your ads to these places?

It would be best if you can write a case study about this observation to keep us all updated with your premonition. Actually, if I am to base the statistics, what google analytics is showing would not sync in what FB dash is showing.

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New Member
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I have indeed used ads with different goals, whether it is for Traffic, Impressions or Conversions.  I have also tried narrowing down my target market very precisely.  I have never advertised outside the US so I should be getting NO clicks from India, Mexico and Spain...yet there they are.  No matter what I do the bots are there.  I even tried setting up a brand new page and ran an ad, and sure enough the bots found me.  The only time I don't see a majority bots is when I direct only to desktop.  Then it looks like less than 20% are bots, yet the cost just to drive traffic from desktop is crazy high.  I can't run only desktop ads as it will bankrupt me.  Unfortunately, once you are targeted by the bots, it is like they won't go away.  It is a business killer for sure.  Unless I can get rid of the bots, I am done with Facebook for the foreseable future.  Not very happy to say the least.  If anything changes I will update this page.  Beware, and make sure you are watching your site interaction to make sure this doesn't happen to you.   

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Excursionist
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Hi Marc, have you ever considered that you have tapped out the market for your niche, and that's why your conversion rate has changed? What is your percentage of returning buyers? Are the same people who have already purchased seeing your ad's over and over again? If this is true and you have tapped out the market I reccomend selling your business.

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New Member
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Sam, that is quite funny.  No, I have not tapped out my market.  First, my frequency score in Facebook is close to 1.  In fact, I drive traffic to new people who haven't been to my site in the last 90 days.  Second, I am still getting a lot of traffic...just not real traffic.  It makes no sense to get traffic if I have tapped the market.  Third, that doesn't explain why I am getting traffic from India, Spain and Mexico when I run ads only in the U.S.  Fourth, when I just drive traffic to desktop the behavior is 100% different, I get real users.  When I drive traffic to mobile, it is 90% fake.  Fifth, when I look at the potential audience I have barely scratched the surface of Facebook.  Yet, I can't buy mobile ads when 90% are fake....thus my dilemna.  And desktop-only ads are simply too expensive.   

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