Thursday, 7 February 2013

Unequivocal Proof That No One Has Ever Clicked On A Web Ad

We sometimes enjoy role playing. Not the French maid kind of role playing, the business kind. Not

that we have anything against French maids...Today, I am going to role play.

I am going to pretend I am a web data analyst and use the mathematics and logic

of web analysis to prove to you that no one has ever clicked on a web ad

intentionally. Sound like fun? Here we go. Last week, several

trade publications reported on a study

by Webtrends that claims that click-through rates on Facebook ads have

dropped to .05%. To those of you who were not math majors, this means that for

every 10,000 ads served on Facebook, 5 get clicked on. This is described by

Adweek "abysmal." It is worse than abysmal. It is

mind-blowingly, incomprehensibly, abysmally abysmal. But that's not the

end of it. According to a Facebook insider, the 5-clicks-in-10,000 number is

actually a gross exaggeration. This person says that the true number is

actually less than half that -- 2 clicks per 10,000. You're probably not

as unstable as I am, but maybe you've noticed something. Every now and then, as

you're wasting your life away on the web, you accidentally click on something

that you didn't intend to click on. I call this Unintended Click

Syndrome. In my case, at least half the time I find myself facing a display

ad, I had no intention of clicking on it. I got there as the result of being a

victim of Unintended Click Syndrome. According to Google,

the number of these invalid clicks" may be as high as 10% of all clicks (they define "invalid" clicks as

those that are either unintended or fraudulent.)Let's be generous here

and say that only 5% of clicks are unintended. Now let's do a little math.

If the Facebook click-through rate is 5 in 10,000 (let's be generous again

and use Webtrend's number) , and the invalid click rate is 5%, then of 500

clicks in 10,000 are invalid. It is, therefore, quite possible that all

the clicks on Facebook ads are invalid and the actual click-through rate for

Facebook ads is zero. But this is not just true of Facebook. The

click-through rate for all web ads is 1 in a thousand. If the rate of

unintended clicks is 50 in a thousand (5%) then, once again, it is possible that

the rate of intended clicks on all web ads is zero.My conclusion

-- no one has ever intentionally clicked on a web ad.

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