Troubleshooting Current Facebook Ad Problems

If you’re running Facebook Ads, you may have encountered a glitch wherein any ads running links to the Amazon store were flagged and shut off. This was especially prevalent for regional ads to places like the UK, AU, and DE.

I’ve gotten some questions about Amazon links being permanently banned, since Facebook Support told a couple people that Amazon links are now disallowed. Those screenshots have been posted in groups.

This is not true. It’s worth noting that a large portion of my business comes from managing Facebook Ads, so I’m not saying that blithely.

These are glitches. Support is not particularly knowledgeable regarding Facebook Ads. I don’t have any inside information, FYI, but they have not banned links to the store with 49% of the market share in eCommerce.

Here’s what I haven’t seen mentioned in any discussions: Facebook decided to update their Ads Manager and user platform interface simultaneously while severely under-staffed due to COVID. This is a pretty baffling decision, all things considered, and rather unsurprisingly the rollout has been less than smooth.

As I write this (October 14), it seems that this issue has cleared up. The bombardment of rejection notices I was receiving throughout late August and September has abated. That’s not to say some other issue won’t rear its head between now and the election, but for now, this looks like it’s been mostly fixed.

If you’re still encountering a situation where your links are being flagged, here are five troubleshooting tips. By the way, if these fail, or you exhaust all options, then the best way to contact Facebook is through chat. Visit facebook.com/business/help and scroll down to the “Still Need Help” section, then click “Get Started.”

IMPORTANT: You must be logged into Facebook for this help section to appear; if you’re not, it won’t show up.

FIX #1

If you’re encountering a problem with links being rejected, change the /dp part of the link to /gp/product.

The link you should use looks like:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01G9FG15C/

instead of

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01G9FG15C/

The former is what’s known as the “canonical” link.

FIX #2

If you’re encountering a problem with links being rejected, and the above doesn’t work, try sending people to the series page.

This is a different link than the individual book’s page, so it will not be affected if Facebook has mistakenly flagged the individual book’s link.

FIX #3

If you’re encountering a problem with links being rejected, and the above methods fail, you can use a redirect link a la bit.ly or Geni.us.

Do this at your own risk, as Facebook’s automated checks could interpret this as you trying to circumvent their systems after the regular Amazon links have already been flagged and rejected.

FIX #4

If you can’t get the Amazon link approved, you can send people to a landing page (e.g. dnerikson.com/demon) with the Amazon links to your books. This adds another click, which is a downside; the upside is that you can do a host of tracking that you can’t when you send people direct to Amazon.

FIX #5

If you’re using Dynamic Creative, you’re much more likely to get hit with rejections. The link glitch seems to only affect certain ads, but in DC, all your ad combos are lumped into one big ad. So if Facebook has a problem with one, then they all go down.

This also holds true if you’re getting ads flagged for content or other issues: if Facebook has an issue with one headline out of the five you’re running, for example, the entire Dynamic Creative ad will be shut down.