Facebook Ad Auction: Why Quality Matters

 In Digital Marketing

It’s well known now that Facebook’s algorithm controls what users see organically on their News Feeds. But did you know that your ads also fall under the control of an algorithm?

Facebook wants to create the best user experience for its users, and ads are a part of that experience. Basically, Facebook’s algorithm is built to filter ads so that it shows users only the ads that are most valuable and relevant to them.


The way in which Facebook evaluates ads, and matches its users with the most relevant ads, is called an ad auction. Basically, Facebook evaluates what they call the “total” value of each ad, and decide between ads which are best to show to a given user at a given moment.

For their part in this process, advertisers decide their target audience, campaign objective, and budget when they create campaigns. The “total value” assigned by Facebook is based on a combination of things using data from advertisers and users, including:

  • Advertiser’s bid amount
  • Advertiser’s chosen objective
  • Probability that seeing an ad will lead the viewer in question to the advertiser’s desired outcome
  • The ad’s quality
  • The ad’s relevance to the user


As an advertiser, you don’t have control over every facet of the ad auction process – but there are things you can do to raise your chances of winning ad auctions. While creating ad campaigns for your brand, make sure to:

  • Determine your objective. Facebook uses your campaign’s chosen objective to determine which users it will show your ads to. Specifying what your desired outcome is on any given campaign will allow Facebook to place your ads more precisely.
  • Choose a specific target audience. Similarly, Facebook will use this information to match your ads with audiences more accurately.
    • Select flexible placement options. This will broaden the places where your ads can be shown to users – like Instagram and the Audience Network – therefore giving your ads more chances and a greater probability of being shown to viewers.
    • Use relevance score. Facebook actually has a tool in Ads Manager that estimates daily how relevant your ads are to users. Since relevance is a large part of how Facebook determines ad auctions, paying attention to this tool could give you a big advantage over competitors.
  • Test your ads. Determine what works for your audience – and what doesn’t – by creating different versions of your ads and measuring how well they perform against one another. This way, you’ll learn how to create better ads for your audience – and for the ad auction.

Want more info? Check out what Facebook has to say about the ad auction process here. If you want to learn more or get started with your first Facebook campaign, get in touch or sign-up for our updates today.



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As CMG’s Crafter of Strategic Communication, Amy Libka combines strategy and creativity to help clients communicate as effectively as possible. She is passionate about clear, effective communication, and enjoys crafting messages that help individuals and groups achieve their goals. She specializes in creating content and managing digital advertising campaigns for a diverse group of clients.

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