Notice a decrease in the number of ‘Likes’ in the past few days on your Facebook fan  or brand page?

Have no fear, you’re no less popular than yesterday. Facebook is finally cracking down on fake profiles.

In recent months, social media strategists have complained loudly about the seemingly huge number of fake Facebook profiles (or “bots”) that unfairly inflated likes for certain brands and made analyzing a Facebook ad campaigns increasingly difficult.

While brands may have cringed at the number of lost “likes,” social media managers everywhere jumped for joy, as the long-overdue bot cleanup will will make it easier for admins to evaluate which content is working well with their “real” fans. And by “real,” we mean “actual human beings who exist in the universe.”

“Facebook said “On average, less than 1% of Likes on any given Page will be removed” if they’ve abided by its terms and haven’t shadily been buying Likes from hackers.

One business owner told us he saw a Page go from 7100 Likes to 5800 in a day, an 18% drop. That’s an extreme, though, and that Page may have been buying spam Likes or tricking users into becoming fans.”

Lower but more accurate Like counts actually help Pages. Admins might not be able to tout their Pages’ size the same way, but they’ll be better able to assess what content is resonating with their audiences.

Is this recent crackdown going to make it difficult for a new user to create a profile? Are we going to see multiple hurdles put into place now that ‘Operation Remove Fake Profiles’ is underway? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure: Facebook went a long way towards improving their credibility within the social media community by getting rid of profiles with no real value.

How much impact will the Operation have on brand pages down the road? We can’t wait to find out.