Google Adwords Vs. Facebook Ads – Part One

Part One:  Overview

While pondering how best to present the targeting system for Facebook Ads, we decided the best way to do this is from a comparative standpoint to a platform many of you are already familiar with: Google Adwords.

It is easy to assume that one online paid advertising platform functions the same as another; after all they accomplish the same thing, increased visibility.  That is where the similarities stop when comparing Google Adwords and Facebook Ads.  Basics, such as bidding and ad type/composition, are different as well as the more in-depth features, such as targeting and reporting.

To help our audience understand and explore these differences, we are starting a series of blog posts that will discuss the differences and allow our audience to make an informed decision regarding both channels.

Google Adwords Overview:

Adwords is a mature channel that provides two main ways to target your audience.  Active:  in which ads are shown in direct relation to a search query.  Passive: in which ads are shown based on the content that the user is viewing.  Adwords is making a push towards more targeted ad serving with their forays into social media (Google+ etc.), but they largely remain at the mercy of search queries.

Facebook Ads Overview:

Facebook Ads targeting is driven by the Facebook Opengraph API; the system that allows Facebook to categorize any content on the internet as its own recognizable Opengraph “Object”.  The Opengraph objects can range from anything that you have “Liked” across the internet, to deliberate additions and edits to your profile information.  All of these data points are collected in order to deliver you relevant Facebook Advertising.

In summary, both channels are viable but reach audiences in different ways.  It is these differences that we intend to showcase and present differing viewpoints on how both can be harnessed for success.

Part Two of this series will focus on what a “Qualified Impression” looks like on both platforms.  Is showing up on a targeted keyword search enough, or would you rather infiltrate your target market proactively?

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Brent Sharp is our money guy. He makes sure we all get paid so we all like him quite a bit and shower him with baked goods whenever possible. He has been with Intrapromote since 2003 and he came to Intrapromote with a degree in business management and 7 years of experience in accounting. He also started up and worked with our paid search team for a while before returning his full attention to the day-to-day operational side of Intrapromote’s business. He’s best known as our Excel guru. Need an Excel formula? Brent’s the man.

While Brent isn’t the type of guy to enjoy long walks on the beach (although he’s never actually denied it), he has been known to jam out to random tunes in our headquarters and share theories on the latest shows around the water cooler. A geek among geeks, the thing that makes Brent happiest is when one of us turns in a budget proposal for review and we’re more than happy to oblige. Brent likes to blog about PPC news, search engine development and cool apps that he’s discovered.[/author_info] [/author]

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Brent Sharp
Brent Sharp is the VP of Finanace at Intrapromote and has been with us since 2003. He makes sure we all get paid so we all like him quite a bit. He's an Excel guru and is also the unofficial music playlist creator due to his extensive knowledge of fine music. A geek among geeks, few things make Brent happier than receiving a budget proposal for review. Brent likes to blog about PPC news, search engine development and cool apps that he's discovered.
Brent Sharp
Brent Sharp
Brent Sharp

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  1. Yechiel Gottlieb Nov 27, 2011 Reply

    This is a great subject to discuss. I believe that the main difference between Facebook and Google is the way by which they choose the audience to show the ads to. Google will use the surfers query as a guide line while Facebook is using the demographics. In other way Google is looking for the “what” and Facebook for the “who”.

    • Andrew Stromberg May 2, 2012 Reply

      That’s well said. I also think the audience on Google is probably in more of a “buying” state than the Facebook audience. Similar but different.

  2. yawn boring Nov 23, 2012 Reply

    I really like looking through a post that will make people think.
    Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!

  3. Regina Nov 27, 2012 Reply

    Hi there would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re using? I’m going to start my own blog in the near future
    but I’m having a tough time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m
    looking for something unique. P.S My
    apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

    • Brent Sharp Author
      brent Nov 28, 2012 Reply

      No worries, we use WordPress while using the “the corporation” theme.

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