Beware: Facebook ads are now fake traffic from click bots

Marc_Martino
New Member
5 0 0

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?

Replies 7 (7)
jimmielee00
Excursionist
53 0 4

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.

Marc_Martino
New Member
5 0 0

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.   

Sam_Winter
Excursionist
123 0 8

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.

Marc_Martino
New Member
5 0 0

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.   

RashadHossain
Tourist
4 0 1

Hi Marc, this same thing is happening to my store right now. The only thing I changed that I think could've caused this is that I changed the offer on my product page to a more high ticket offer. I'm wondering if you ever found a solution or if this problem ever got fixed for you? I know it's been a while but I'd really appreciate your feedback, thank you. 

 

@Marc_Martino 

Marc_Martino
New Member
5 0 0

Hi Rashad,

Since it has been so long, I want to make sure we are on the same page. I was using Facebook to drive all of my traffic.  Frankly, Facebook is the #1 platform to drive traffic for a website as it is cheap and easy to set up yourself.  I struggled for literally years to remove the bots and nothing worked.  Facebook even looked into the issue and admitted that my account had an issue but was unwilling to help me.  They claimed it was fake accounts causing problems, but I believe that was a diversion to the real problem.  IMO I think they knew they were screwing me and just wanted to continue it.  Unless I have 500k sitting around to sue Facebook, no lawyer will take the case as Facebook has much more money to fight things.  I was screwed.  I have had to completely change my business model to get around the issue.  If you are running Facebook ads and getting bots, you are likely screwed as well as Facebook will not FIX the issue, despite it being easily within their control.  If you ever do find a solution, I would appreciate a message back to help me as well.  I am sorry I could not be more of a help.  Marc

Marc_Martino
New Member
5 0 0

One more thing, everyone who hears this story at first doesn't beleive me.  Practically ALL Facebook ad experts simply can't believe such a thing would occur.  They think that there must be some targeting issue and so forth and so they recommend all these things.  Yet, I have already done all of these things they recommend.  Literally, I must have run over 500 different campaigns trying to avoid the bots, and nothing worked.  The way to really tell it is a bot is to load hotjar and watch the interaction on your site.  Bots will do crazy things like go to your homepage, sit for 30 seconds and then bounce out.  You will see this same pattern occur again and again and again.  No human like scrolling, no natural movements - it is easy to see when you compare it to a normal human using a website.  Second, I installed a simple Google recaptcha front page that filters out bots.  All that was required was a simple click of the mouse to continue to my website.  99 percent of the users were filtered out with it.  99 percent people failing the recaptcha test means it is bots.  It totally sucks when BigTech screws you...I know the feeling too well.