Is Facebook Traffic Lower Quality Than Google? When advertisers compare the quality of traffic between Google and Facebook, Facebook traffic is almost always viewed as “lower quality.” This makes sense conceptually since Google ads often capture consumers who are at the bottom of the purchase funnel and are searching for products and services with the intent to purchase.


Facebook Traffic


Facebook advertising is more like billboards along the highway, where consumers see (and click on) ads for products and services that may not interest them. Through custom audiences and lookalike audiences, Facebook is now offering Facebook advertisers the ability to target consumers. Especially those who are closer to the bottom of the purchase funnel. As a result, the improvement in traffic quality is significant. Google should be concerned.


What are custom audiences and lookalike audiences?


  • Custom Audiences: upload a list of users (email addresses, phone numbers, UDIDs) or build an audience with a website pixel, and Facebook will match your users to Facebook user acquisition profiles. Facebook will then allow you to target these users as a form of remarketing. If you run an e-commerce site, you can upload lists of basketball shoe buyers. Then, you can serve basketball shoe ads to these users on Facebook.
  • Lookalike Audiences: Facebook identifies the common interests and behaviors of users in your custom audience, and then creates Lookalike audiences of users who have similar interests and behaviors. Using the e-commerce basketball shoe example, Facebook may see a high affinity for users who like NBA teams and NBA players. Also, many users interested in the NBA and its players may be your lookalike audience.

facebook traffic Target Audience

How do Lookalike Audiences compare to interest targeting?


  • Cost: we have a/b tested a ton of ads with interest targeting vs. lookalike targeting, where all other variables are the same (ad image, ad copy, age, gender, etc.). We generally see a lower CPC for interest targeting and lower cost-per-initial conversion. For instance, the cost-per-install is generally lower with interest targeting for mobile app installs, and the cost-per-lead is generally lower with interest targeting for lead gen advertisers.
  • Quality: the quality of traffic from Lookalike targeting is almost always higher than interest targeting. The monetization event is generally the definition of quality. This includes purchases for e-commerce companies or engagement for a mobile app, etc. Also, this confirms that Facebook is able to identify users who are more likely to purchase your products and services by allowing them to analyze their current users.
  • ROI: Lookalike audiences have a higher cost-per-initial conversion than interest-targeted audiences, but Lookalike audiences generally have higher quality. So which targeting method is more profitable? Lookalike audiences are generally more profitable than interest-targeted audiences. Hence, the increase in quality (monetization) outweighs the increase in cost.

Stay tuned for best practices for working with lookalike audiences.

-Tom Young, CMO


About Consumer Acquisition

Consumer Acquisition has acquired more than 40 million mobile app users on Facebook and Instagram. We focus on gaming, e-commerce, automotive, financial services, and entertainment verticals. As a result, we have developed a unique process to reduce costs at a high scale. Our AdRules™ ad management software utilizes custom algorithms for each mobile app. AdRules™ was launched for internal use in January 2015 and is now available to the Facebook advertiser.

To learn how we can help your business with Facebook & Instagram acquisition, please contact

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