Facebook Advertising vs Google Display Network

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Digital marketing has become an absolute must for businesses. In this article, we take a look at two of the best Internet platforms available to advertisers: Facebook and Google Display Network.

According to the most recent figures, Facebook has 1,317 million users worldwide generating over 1 trillion page views per month, while Google Display Network serves 1 trillion ad impressions across more than 2 million websites.

So what do all these big numbers mean?

Both Facebook and Google Display Network have tremendous advertising reach and potential.

While these numbers help us visualize the scope and magnitude of the platforms, we must explore how each platform operates. This will help us evaluate whether the platforms are able to capitalize off their reach, and the advantages and disadvantages of choosing one to begin an advertising campaign.


The first step in understanding how advertising manifests on Facebook and Google Display Network is to consider the purpose of each platform. Facebook, in its heart of hearts, is a social network people use to connect with others, share content and basically hang out.
On the other hand, Google Display Network is a group of websites, videos, and apps where your ads can appear. In addition to serving its own properties-YouTube being a prime example-Google Display Network will place ads on over 2 million other websites, such as NY Times and USA Today.

Essentially, we are comparing a social hub to a giant advertising network. For those looking to advertise, this is important because:

While people spend more time on Facebook, increasing their own exposure to ads, Google Display Network is able to reach a greater quantity and variety of people around the world.


Until recently Google Display Network had a clear advantage when it came to ad formats. However, Facebook has come a long way in the last couple of years in an effort to make itself more competitive. Most importantly though, it has started to take advantage of its large mobile phone population.

Let’s take at a look at what each platform offers advertisers in terms of ad formats.
Text Images Video Mobile
Facebook   

Google Display   

As you can see both platforms offer comparable ad formats. There is, however, a difference in how users interact with the ads. On Facebook, users are able to like, comment on and share ads. Moreover, they can see ads that their friends have interacted with, which creates a level of trust and social validation not common with Google ads.


Since users divulge personal information on Facebook, advertisers are able to target very specific audiences, taking advantage of the availability of the user’s location, demographics, interests and behavior.

Google Display Network is also able to target using location, demographics, interests and context- showing your ads on sites related to your keywords.

The primary difference is that with Google Display Network, you target audiences
based on their search activity. On Facebook, you target audiences based on who they are as a person (information willingly provided through ‘Likes’, ‘Follows’ and personal information).

Both platforms allow for remarketing/retargeting which means users who have previously visited your website will view your ads as they browse the web.

So while Google Display Network is better to reach those that are actively searching using keywords, Facebook is able to target a more specific audience.

Advertising online is an indispensable tactic to reach potential customers across the globe.

When investing your money in online advertising it is important to consider your marketing goals. Are you a young business looking to build brand awareness in a certain demographic? Creating a Business Page on Facebook and investing in an affordable ad campaign is a good place to start. Do you have a steady budget and offer a product or service that people actively seek out? Advertising on Google Display Network can help you increase your competitiveness.

A couple of years ago, Google Display Network had the clear advertising advantage. But Facebook’s growth and developments in the market has made it a comparable option for businesses looking to advertise.

An advertising campaign balanced between Facebook and Google Display Network is the best way to maximize your business’ exposure and reach potential customers.
Have any more questions about digital advertising? Contact Orlando Digital Marketing agency Chatter Buzz Media today to schedule a free consultation session.

Images (in order of appearance):

Google Display Network: http://www.google.com/ads/displaynetwork/

Facebook logo: https://flic.kr/p/4DmkbS by Marco Pakoeningrat

Facebook connects the world: https://flic.kr/p/93Coc9 by Michael Coghlan

Google display ad formats: http://www.google.com/ads/displaynetwork/

Facebook targeting: https://flic.kr/p/4Z121t by Neal Stewart

Michael Freeman

Michael is the Content Writer and Editor at Chatter Buzz. A native of Massachusetts, he has more than 20 years of experience as a print and online journalist & has as a marketing writer for more than 50+ private firms in various industries. He loves red wine and spending time with his cats.

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