Google Paid Search vs. Facebook Paid Social: Team Players or Adversaries?

May 17th, 2017 by Rosalie Nolan

When it comes to choosing between Facebook and Google advertising, it’s important to note what your business’s goals are. Both platforms are beneficial to business in their own ways and often work in conjunction to help businesses achieve maximum online visibility, gain more customers, and increase leads and sales. In order to best understand the opportunities with these two advertising channels, it’s important to know what each has to offer.

Google Paid Search and Facebook Paid Social

No one can deny that as far as search engines go, Google takes the cake. With more than 3.5 billion searches being conducted every day, Google is by far the world’s most popular and widely used search engine. Because of this, advertisers are able to reach a broad potential audience who may be seeking their products or services. Google AdWords, the PPC advertising platform for Google, allows advertisers to utilize the Search Network and the Display Network. Through the Search Network, advertisers can bid on keywords and phrases to trigger certain Google searches. The Display Network offers visual ads and can reach those who are not just searching on Google, but on other sites as well (i.e. a banner displaying your business’s logo on YouTube).

Image Of Don Draper Discussing The Future Of Advertising - Search Influence

Considered the pioneer of paid social advertising, Facebook has refined its process and has become an important part of many businesses’ marketing strategies. Like Google, Facebook is an extremely prominent website, with more than one-fifth of the entire world’s population active on the site monthly. Because Facebook users tend to share a lot of personal information—interests, relationship status, political views to name a few—Facebook advertising can target very specific demographics, showing Facebook users what they want to see.

What Types of Ads Does Each Channel Offer?

Both Facebook and Google include a variety of ad formats to appeal to a variety of audiences.

Google Ads:

  • Text – These ads are only words, and can immediately reach customers as they search on Google.
  • Responsive – Size, appearance, and format can be adjusted depending on the ad spaces.
  • Image – Graphics that are static or interactive, and can be animated in .gif and Flash format. These can show on websites that partner with Google through the Display Network.
  • App Promotion Ads – As the name states, these ads can drive app downloads and engagement for your business. These will only show on devices that can support the app.
  • Video – These can stand alone or show in streaming video content on websites that partner with Google.
  • Product Shopping Ads – These show a photo, title, price, store name, and other details about a product you are selling.
  • Showcase Shopping Ads – This type of ad shows a product but expands when it’s clicked on to show related products and store information.
  • Call-only Ads – Ads that include your business’s phone number to drive phone calls. These types of ads only show on devices that support phone calls.

Facebook Ads:

  • Domain Ads – With a simple format, this ad displays on the right column. This type of ad does not display on mobile.
  • Page Post Link – The most common of all Facebook ad types, this type of ad links to your external website and includes a large image for grabbing the attention of Facebook users.
  • Carousel Ads – A relatively recent development in Facebook advertising, these ads allow e-commerce advertisers to showcase up to five of their products, each with its own picture, link, and title.
  • Dynamic Product Ads – These ads target based on past actions on your website, also known as remarketing.
  • Lead Ads – Allows Facebook users to fill out a form on either desktop or mobile directly from Facebook.
  • Canvas – Only available on mobile, customers can interact with the ad by swiping through the carousel, zooming in and out or even tilting the images.
  • Page Like – This allows users to immediately like a Facebook page.
  • Page Post Photo and Video – Showcases pictures and videos from your business. Video advertising is especially engaging as Facebook video receives up to 8 billion video views per day!
  • Mobile and Desktop Apps – Similar to Google’s app promotion ads, these drive installs of a business’s app to mobile and desktop.
  • Event – Allows a business to promote their event to visitors.
  • Offer – This type of ad can only be created on a page with at least 50 likes, and it allows a user who clicks on the ad to redeem a special promotion.

Google and Facebook: Friends or Foes?

As previously stated, it’s highly common for Facebook and Google to be utilized together in a marketing campaign for their different advantages. Many marketers are drawn to Google because of the search volume and opportunity for exposure there. Google allows for targeting based on location, keywords, demographics, devices, and languages, as well as re-marketing, which can target users based on searches that have previously been conducted. While PPC ads are text-based, advertising opportunities are versatile. Extensions, user reviews, map data, and shopping ads are just a few examples of how Google advertising can be further optimized.

Facebook advertising is not only extremely targeted but also highly visual, which many see as an advantage over Google. Facebook ads are essentially unavoidable, appearing in your target audience’s News Feed or the right column of their page. Because advertising on Facebook is based on specific insights and interests, chances are that the ad will be more engaging to the user.

Image Of the Internet Being Friends - Search Influence

Perhaps the biggest difference between each platform is the behavior of the users. When searching on Google for products or services, users have an idea of what they are looking for. Facebook, on the other hand, is not typically used to seek a product or service. However, the likelihood of a Facebook user to be exposed to a product or service that appeals to them is very high.

While Google and Facebook are often seen as adversaries in the marketing world, the possibilities with each vary greatly. Try this team together for utmost potential in maximizing any campaign’s performance.

Image Sources:

Don Draper & The Future Of Advertising

The Internet Shaking Hands