Online Advertising: Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads

Online Advertising: Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads

Facebook and Google are both big players in the online advertising world. Google’s advertising for 2010 brought in revenues of a cool $30 billion. In 2011, Facebook took in a comparatively paltry $4 billion – an increase on 2010 but still nowhere close to Google.

All in all, around $600 billion is spent every year on advertising. Around $66 billion of that is targeted at online advertising.

With online shopping becoming more and more common, and an increasing number of people using crowdsourcing via social media and online searches to investigate everything from legal services to floor scrubbers before they buy, advertising online is becoming essential.

So, if you have decided to start advertising online, or want to expand your existing online presence, how do you choose between Google ads and Facebook ads?

Market Share

Facebook has 845 million active users, while Google reaches over 1 billion unique users each and every month. One way to help decide between the options is to look for data on how your target market interacts with each site.

For example, if you target a particular location, how many people from that area use Google and Facebook?

What is the Goal of Your Advertising?

Both Facebook and Google allow you to target specific audiences and demographics based on things like location, interests and so on. However, you need to consider what it is that those people will be doing on the website.

When people use Google they are by definition looking for something, whether it be a product, a company or information. By contrast, Facebook is primarily a social site where people generally browse and interact socially. This is reflected on the click-through-rate that ads have on the different sites, or how often people will click on an ad when they see it – it is much higher on Google.

So, if you are trying to sell a particular product or service, Google may be a better bet. However, for long-term brand awareness, exposure and relationship development, Facebook could be more suitable.

How Targeted do You Want to Be?

Google offers a wealth of options for targeting ads, from language to location to the all-important keywords. However, it is not discounting Google’s abilities to admit that Facebook has more information and opportunities for targeting.

If you want to target a very specific niche and do so more often than when they are searching for something related to that niche, then Facebook could be best.

Of course, there is always the option to advertise on both sites, either as a long-term strategy to take advantage of both site’s advantages, or as an initial foray from which you can assess which has a better return for your business.

It's a competitive market. Contact us to learn how you can stand out from the crowd.

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Post a Comment


  • avatar
    james deals at uk 


    I have just started to pay attention to the days/times when my audience responds. I will be posting at certain times of the day that I know my readers are online.
    thanks for great post

  • avatar

    Oh it depends. Facebook and Google ads serve different purpose. It depends on who your target market is and where they are usually. I agree that you must do a split test first to avoid losing much money on ads. Stay positive and just analyze what really works for you.

  • avatar
    Free Australia Classified Ads 


    Wow nice comparison! Your website is actually full of knowledge. Google by far is the most fastest and innovative search engine. Facebook also have its own demand in the market. In order to increase the popularity of any business internet marketing is in latest trends now a days. Any company looking for internet marketing or online marketing can visit Daily Ads website to attract potential customers to increase buying and selling. Daily Ads is the most trusted and reputed Australia based classified website. Daily Ads is a free online classified which makes online advertising more popular and efficient than other newspaper and magazine advertisement.

  • avatar

    Interesting article. There is so much rhetoric about Facebook and how big they are, but once you start ‘working the numbers’ as you have done here, surprisingly, it looks like Facebook has some catching up to do. It will be interesting to see how they execute that. I’m sure they have a plan…

  • avatar

    I didn’t even know that Facebook Ads did exist. Your website is actually full of knowledge. The more I read it the more I realize I am ignorant 😀

  • avatar

    Although facebook has some nice features of it’s ads ie. targeting a largely young audience directly, it still has nothing on adwords. Google’s scope and reach is unmatched. For example, you can disable facebook ad’s (as many do) but google’s ads are a requirement for searches and their indexing and analytics’s features are yet to be beaten imo!

  • avatar

    Contextually driven ads have traditionally converted lower than regular paid search listings. I’m wondering if this 6 billion is going to taper off once the initial excitement of facebook ads dies down and people start looking at their conversion rates and ROI.

  • avatar

    Do small trials on both and see which produces more leads. As the article states, if your niche is more specific you might end up going with Facebook. But you can’t ignore the 1 billion unique Google+ vs the 845 million active users on Facebook. Many Marketers are already comfortable with Facebook, but the statistics on Google+ demands a try. Use which works best, and costs the least. Or use both.

  • avatar

    Great tips for us all Shane, do you know if Google or Facebook has the better CPC right now?

    • avatar

      That a bit of an odd question because most clicks on Facebook aren’t as valuable as Google clicks in terms of how profitable they are. Facebook’s CPC is probably lower in most cases, but then again, you’re unlikely to ink a $10,000 deal from a Facebook ad.

  • avatar

    I have to admit I do like the thought of marketing with PPC, but I have never really had much in the way of success with it. However, this is an interesting concept and one which probably outpaces my current method, article marketing, at getting a faster turn around in the way money comes into you.

  • avatar

    Hey Shane,
    This is simple, informative and helpful tips for those who are planning for online advertisement. The metrics shows google is far ahead when compared to Facebook but of course we can see huge ad flow to Facebook mainly because of their coming e-commerce strategies.

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