Google Ads vs Facebook Ads

If you run an online store, you certainly can’t be handing out fliers in a crowded marketplace hoping for sales and success – an online store, needs online ads!

Google ads and Facebook ads are a good (and potentially lucrative) way to begin. In this article we draw points of comparison between the two – to help you make a choice. We’ve also compiled the comparison in this neat infographic, just for you!


What Types of Ads Can I Run on Google and Facebook?


  1. Text ads: When you do a Google search you’ll notice that small square format ads that appear in the right column. Most of these simply contain brief text, along with an external link. A few such text ads appear above your search results as well.
  2. Visual ads: Some of these ads are accompanied by visuals like pictures, logos and graphics which add to their attractiveness. Adding some sort of a visual reference greatly increases the chance of your ad getting noticed.
  3. In-app ads: Other ads appear only on a Google app on a mobile device. Since you can’t really see a right column on your mobile app, these ads appear in the primary column above search results.


  1. Domain or Right Hand Side Ads: When browsing through your Facebook news feed you will notice that some ads appear on your right, and generally keep changing as you scroll down.

  2. News Feed Ads: Others appear within the feed itself (unless the user has blocked them), often in the form of links to e-stores or external websites or in some cases to Facebook pages associated with brands.

    Both Google and Facebook allow quite a lot of variety where format of ads is concerned. However Facebook ads tend to be more interactive, because they allow you to like or follow their content, besides just leading to a store or providing information.

How Do I Decide Who Sees My Ads?


  1. Keyword Targeting: Google ads target their audience by tracking keywords or words typed in the search bar. Advertisers can choose which keywords will be linked with their ad, so that their ad pops up whenever those words are searched. Identifying the relevant keywords increases yours chances of reaching your desired audience.

    For e.g. if you have a store selling women’s Yoga clothing within Mumbai, you could chose keywords like “Ladies yoga classes Mumbai” or “Buy yoga clothes online” to go with your ad, because people who type in such keywords are likely to want your products.

  1. Location and Language Targeting: Besides the keywords they type in, you can narrow your target audience by their location and language settings. Their google domain ( or, etc) offers clear indication of where they are based. Google also determines their location based on their IP address.

  1. Device Targeting: This lets you select whether your ad appears only in their browser or whether it appears in their mobile device; phones & tablets, or both.


  1. Demographics (Location, Age, Gender, Job titles etc): When creating a Facebook profile, people give out key information about themselves, their location, age, gender, job titles, etc., all of which can be used by advertisers as filters, to reach exactly that section of the population that is likely to need their products and services.

  1. Interests: The aps facebook users have installed, the pages they like and the groups they are a part of shed more light on their interests, thereby allows advertisers to reach the right people.

For e.g. the ad for your yoga clothing store, can be filtered to reach women between the ages of 18 and 40, who live in Mumbai, have liked other yoga related pages and have listed “fitness” and “yoga” as their interests.

Simply put, the main difference is that Google targets an audience based on what they are thinking about at the moment, while Facebook targets a person’s long term behaviour and personality.

Calculating costs


  1. Clicks based bidding: By this payment method you pay only when someone actually clicks on your ad. You can set a budget, and once that budget is spent, Google will stop displaying your ad to ensure you don’t spend more than you intended to.

  2. Impressions based bidding: Here you pay for the number of impressions, or the number of times your ad has been viewed on Google; typically you pay every time a thousand people view your ad. This kind of payment system works best if you wish to build brand awareness & may not lead to sales.

  3. Conversion based bidding: Here you pay only when your ad has received its end result, like when a sale has been made. Typically this costs most per unit than CPC or CPI, but you actually spend money only when your ad has achieved its desired result.


  1. Cost per Click: Just like with Google ads, you can choose to pay for Facebook ads based on clicks. You can set a daily/campaign lifetime budget, so that you don’t overspend. For e.g. If you have set a daily budget is Rs.500, Facebook will stop running your ad after your CPC (cost per click) charges reach that amount.

  2. Cost per Mile: This actually means ‘Cost per thousand’, which means that you are charged for every 1000 times someone views your ad, even if they don’t actually click on it. Again, this tool is great for building awareness.

In both cases, with Google & Facebook, the seller can maintain total control over their advertising budget. The best part is that you can start advertising even with a small budget.

 Needs Based Sales vs Want Based Sales


Since Google ads target a direct search, they are more likely to lead to sales. It stands to reason, that a person does a search with a definite end goal in mind, and Google ads are presented to them at that very moment of action.

For e.g. a person who searches for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, is most definitely interested in the subject, and probably wants to read the book or watch the movie. At this very moment, he/she is quite likely to click on an ad for movie tickets by or an ad for the Harry Potter books by


People spend a considerable amount of time on Facebook, browsing through photographs, commenting on a friend’s activity or chatting with long lost acquaintances. Because of this, exposure to Facebook ads is both long term and intimate; these ads become a part of one’s social life and daily routine, which is great for building brand awareness. Facebook ads may not directly lead to sales, but they go a long way in building familiarity in your brand. So if you want to promote a film or a book before it is released, Facebook provides a better platform.

For e.g. You will often see Fabfurnish ads in your newsfeed, telling you which of your other friends have liked their page. You may not need furniture or household appliances all the time, but when you do, Fabfurnish will come to mind because you have been repeatedly exposed to ads.

How successful Google ads or Facebook ads are largely depends on what you wish to achieve; an immediate one time sale or long term awareness. Most smart advertisers use a combination of both as a part of their marketing strategy – keeping these comparisons in mind will most certainly help you use them to your advantage!

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