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Facebook's new Ad Relevancy metric takes aim at Google's Quality Score

Published: February 18, 2015

Author: Kendra Pennington


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When it comes to digital marketing, we all know our buddy Google is the gold standard. So this week, we give praise to a small company formally known as The Facebook for adding to its UI an Ad Relevancy Score – a comparable feature to AdWords’ Quality Score.

This shiny new column will most certainly have us social geeks frothing at the mouth. After an ad receives 500 impressions, Facebook will give it a score based on a 1-10 scale to help predict performance of that ad. It helps us answer the question: Will my target audience like (no pun intended) this ad? Facebook will now help you predict whether the ad will get clicks, shares, video views, etc. Given how difficult – impossible, actually – Facebook makes it to do a straightforward A/B test, I’d like to personally thank Facebook for giving us a tiny bit of insight into how well our ads are constructed.

By comparison, the AdWords Quality Score is assigned based on relevancy (how well your ad matches with a user’s query), expected CTR (click-through rate, for the newbies), and landing page experience.  Selfishly, I wish Facebook had a bunch of its own spiders so that part of the relevancy score was based upon landing page experience – time will tell whether that becomes a factor.

There are still a lot of other unknowns – for example, will a really high bid outweigh a low relevancy score and still allow a less relevant ad to win an auction? In AdWords, a high quality score can have a great impact on lowering your CPCs and gaining impression share. Another unknown – will editing an ad’s copy or image reset the relevancy score?  We’d hate to think the score is calculated only once — or so infrequently that entirely new ads need to be built in order to improve the score (ahhh, the intricacies of Power Editor).

As we’ve begun seeing this new feature roll out within our clients’ accounts, we are certainly grateful for the added level of transparency. As Mark Zuckerberg so finely stated, “In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” So go forth, create some ads, and then celebrate getting your relevancy score on the 500th impression.  

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