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Adsense and the Facebook Like button

     
5:18 pm on May 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Let me tell you a curious story of rise and fall.

On April 10th, my Adsense earnings went to the roof. I couldn't tell the reason for that, but I decided to be glad and do not bother about it.

Much to my surprise, my earnings kept going up over the last days (with a quick weird drop on the 16th), until they came back to the regular levels on April 20th.

As it couldn't be different, I decided to investigate the sudden drop (yes, only after it started hurting my pocket).

The only unusual thing that I could find was an amazing raise on the number of times the page "?fb_xd_fragment=" was opened on that golden period. For those who don't know, that's an URL that shows due to a bug on the Facebook Like button, which doesn't support some browsers.

The rest of the site's traffic was exact the same, so why the Facebook Like button error started showing up A LOT more often on the logs? And even weirder, why did it impact on the Adsense earnings?

I wish I knew.

Here's a screen shot of GA: [imageupload.org...]
3:11 am on May 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Simple solution - remove the Facebook Like Button, I've seen many others do it due to performance issues. Is it really worth all this hassle and maintenance for someone to "Like" your document? Heck, WebmasterWorld removed theirs a while ago. I wonder why?

Third party scripts are going to be the death of some sites, you watch and see.
9:04 am on May 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Last month (april 9th) I have placed the "Like" button on one of my websites. Couple of minutes ago I checked my Analytics to see if there are any URLs with "fb_xd_fragment" in the reports.

I was a bit shocked to see that I have about 4,000 pageviews each day containing the "fb_xd_fragment". Total pageviews per day is about 16,000.

However, I did not see an increase in visitors or pageviews. Bounce rate and avg. time on site also didn't change. Avg. AdSense stats also didn't change in the past month.

Strange thing is that the "fb_xd_fragment" URLs stopped showing up in my Analytics reports on May 11th. But I did not change anything.

Could it be that Facebebook solved this problem?
12:49 pm on May 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Simple solution - remove the Facebook Like Button, I've seen many others do it due to performance issues. Is it really worth all this hassle and maintenance for someone to "Like" your document?


Yep. I'm in niches that rely on word of mouth, and I'll gladly take the slight performance hit in order to reduce reliance on Google.
9:58 am on May 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I don't see ?fb_xd fragment attached to my URLs, but ?sms_ss=facebook&at_xt=4dc9f7bbdc83bf0d.

Is that the same issue?
11:30 am on May 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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A while ago I had the same problem with the Javascript version of the like button. I switched to the IFRAME version and no more bogus pageviews from that point on.
Like Dlocks I experienced up to 3000 pageviews on certain pages a day, which wasn't normal.
1:51 pm on May 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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What p1r said. We realized originally that Facebook "like" buttons is a fad, giving away your farm to some unknown third party with clearly deep pockets to compete with you, and a danger that any third party js represents (such as your pages being down due to some bug or FB servers being slow).

Now if we can have WebmasterWorld remove Tweet button....hopefully it is clear that since Goldman Sachs is being sued by the US government for "million fraud cases a year" (actual quote by a US congressman), they may not have money anymore to throw into bottomless pits such as Tweeter. And there's a big chance now that Tweeter will - pooof - disappear, just like many previous dot bombs.
2:04 pm on May 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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> Facebook "like" buttons is a fad

@aleksl
Sorry, I don't agree. I think it's here to stay.
2:28 pm on May 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Play_Bach: Sorry, I don't agree. I think it's here to stay.


Clearly it isn't on any of my sites, and it clearly wasn't here to stay on WebmasterWorld.
This 38 message thread spans 2 pages: 38