There is a reason why Google has been so scared of Facebook as a potential competitor. One of the most important things for Google is their AdWords program, which nets them billions of dollars a year in revenue (it’s their primary revenue stream), which is based on pay per click.
In fact, Google basically invented the Pay Per Click method of selling advertising. However, Facebook’s PPC is often considered to outperform the Google PPC program. Here’s why:
It’s the Information, Stupid
Yeah, I’m borrowing a line which has become seriously hackneyed over the years since James Carville coined it for the 1992 Presidential elections. However, this is a very apt comment (the original is “It’s the Economy, Stupid,” for the younger readers who are wondering where it came from).
The fact is that Facebook simply has much more information about their visitors than Google has. Google can track what you searched for and they can sometimes track which sites you’ve visited recently.
However, Facebook knows much more about you than Google does – they have your personal profile which includes information about where you live, what you like and what you want to buy. This is why, when I searched a few weeks ago for a cappuccino maker on Google, Google’s AdWords program kept showing me ads for cappuccino machines.
However, Facebook knew more about me and knew that I had been searching for them because I was writing up an article about them and didn’t care personally about cappuccino (I like Turkish coffee). Therefore, Facebook didn’t show me any such ads.
Let’s not forget why people love Facebook – it’s a social network. This means that they can get advice from their friends on what to buy. Well guess what, when they see their friend recommends buying an iPad from Best Buy because they happen to have a great deal and Facebook puts up an ad from Best Buy, they’re more likely to click the link.
Or, to take this one step further, if your friend suggests that the Lenovo T-61 is a great computer and you happen to see an ad next to that recommendation for a store selling the Lenovo T-61, you are that much more likely to make a purchase from the site which has that ad up.
People are More Likely to Buy
Finally, this is a relation to the above social comment. PPC works best when people are interested in purchasing a particular product. However, when they see an ad on Google, it’s less likely that they’re in the mood to make a purchase than when they see a comment from their friends who suggests that the product in question is a great choice.
Yes, Google has a great PPC program. However, Facebook’s PPC does have quite a few advantages to offer you.