This week, Facebook confirmed that it has started removing Likes that have been obtained by malware, compromised accounts, deceived members, or purchased.

The company originally stated that “less than 1 percent of Likes on any given Page will be removed,” and for that most part that’s proven true. However, some Pages have seen five-digit dips.

For example, the third most popular Page on Facebook, Zynga’s Texas HoldEm Poker, lost 96,000 of its 63 million, marking a 0.15 percent drop. Musicians Lady Gaga and Rihanna lost 34,000 and 28,000, respectively. While these drops aren’t a big deal for Pages with hundreds of thousands, or millions of fans, smaller brands could experience some initial sticker shock.

Assuming you’ve been abiding by Facebook’s rules, you shouldn’t notice much of a change; however, in case your Likes did take a fall, keep in mind that lower but more accurate Like counts actually work in your favor. Not only will this help cut down on the spam that appears on your Page, but it could result in more accurate engagement reports.

TechCrunch shared a great example: if you had 10,000 fans, but 4,000 were fake, a post with only 2,500 Likes meant that only a quarter of your fans care about that content. But with an accurate count, you now know that almost half of your fans enjoy that particular content.

[Via: Mashable, TechCrunch, Image credit: Adam Fagen]