Three men are walking down the beach and come upon a tarnished bronze lamp. After wiping off the sand with a t-shirt a genie emerges and grants each of the men 1 wish.
The first man wishes that he started Microsoft, so Bill disappears in a puff of smoke to Redmond, WA.
The next man wishes that he founded Google, so Sergei disappears in a puff of smoke to Mountain View, CA.
The third man was a humble PPC manager. After pondering a moment, he wished that Facebook PPC would be smart enough to serve ads not only on demographic information set by the advertiser, but also incorporate user feedback.
The genie just laughed and said, “Hey, I’m a genie, not Mark Zuckerberg.”
Last year, the most popular post on this blog was my rant – Why I Hate Facebook PPC Ads: A User’s Perspective. Basically, I rail on the fact that despite marking ads as “Uninteresting” or “Offensive” or “Repetitive”, Facebook still shows the same ads.
In the comments several people gave recommendations on how to improve the ads I saw. The suggestions talked about how I needed to “Like” more things or fill out my profile more so that Facebook would have a better idea of what to show me. While I agree with these suggestions (and even followed them as an experiment) the bigger point here is that I flat out told Facebook I wasn’t interested in certain ads and they still served ads from the same advertisers, to the same sites, for the same services.
Facebook PPC Is Dumb
Definition: lacking intelligence or good judgment; stupid; dull-witted (Dictionary.com)
Here is a screenshot of ads I saw on Monday, January 3rd, 2011:
As you can see, Facebook is still showing me dating ads. A full 5-pack of them. So I did what I always do and gave them all the “X” for being “Uninteresting”:
As you can see, Facebook thanks me and then lies to me. Behold the ads I saw the next day, January 4th, 2011:
Two ads from ChristianMingle.com on Monday, two ads from ChristianMingle.com on Tuesday. Ad from Smartdate.com on Monday, ad from Smartdate.com on Tuesday. At least they swapped out RealMatureSingles.com & BlackPeopleMeet.com for True.com. That’s obviously way more relevant.
Why Advertisers Should Be @#!*% Too
This problem isn’t just something that annoys users. If you’re an advertiser bidding on a CPM basis, this is terrible because you’re paying to show ads to someone who has said they aren’t interested (multiple times in my case). If you bid on a CPC basis, this hurts your CTR. Not mad yet?
User feedback is double opt-in feedback. Not only do users click the “X” but they also select a radio button with a reason. That’s double opt-in confirmation that users don’t want to see your ad, yet Facebook keeps showing it over and over.
Am I crazy? Has anyone else thought this might be an issue?
In the words of Andre below, “You are so dumb. You are really dumb. For real…”