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January 8th, 2011

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06:19 pm - Facebook Click Through Rate
It is not a secret that Facebook now is taking a big chunk of internet traffic. In fact it has surpassed Google in the amount of time being spent on one website to take the number 1 position. This of course is no good measure considering the use cases for each website, but anyway.

I was looking at facebook CTR the other day and noticed something strange, the numbers don't add up!!?? It appears that they are being calculated by multiplying the CTR by a 100, then multiplying it again by 100 to get the percentage. So the final numbers are inflated purposefully to beat the industry average, or even try to match that of Google.

Obviously, search engine CTRs should be higher than any other link on a website, when you are searching for something, finding an ad that looks similar to what you are looking for increases the chances of clicking that link. It is almost impossible to create similar CTR with regular links or ads. Facebook has a huge traffic, and that traffic can obviously be translated into higher clicks, but not necessarily higher CTR. It just becomes a numbers game, more impressions means more clicks.

But why is Facebook fudging the numbers? is this a bug somewhere in their system?  sounds like a major bug to me
Are they trying to fool those who don't know how to calculate properly? well, the majority of people responsible for managing campaigns should know basic math and sooner or later they will discover the doctored numbers.

I was quite surprised, and I hope this does not become a pattern and moves to other sites, because you would have to double check CTRs from now on, and not take whatever you are being told.

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