In most cases, you’re better off running ads on Google than Facebook.
Especially if you’re on a small budget. Not because the traffic’s cheaper, but because of corruption.
A while ago, i was collaborating on a client’s Google account with an agency who managed the client’s Facebook ads. We had to exchange tracking pixels so we can run retargeting on one another’s respective networks.
It turned out, i knew the owner of the agency and we got talking. He asked about my “SECRET” with Google…
… how do i get away with sending traffic to direct response sales letters and squeeze pages? How do i get my offers past reviewers in “taboo” and “no no” niches that google “doesn’t like”? And how do i trick google into sending hundreds of thousands of cheap clicks and sales for my client?
I explained that i just follow the rules, write compliant offers, and place adequate disclaimers. When things don’t go my way, i work meticulously with Google to rectify any problems. No tricking, no getting away with, no getting anything past anyone.
This is how i’ve done it since the very beginning, and following their rules (instead of listening to our industry’s gooroos and direct response “eggspurts”) has made my business practices better.
It is also what allowed me to stay on Google for all these years when most of my competitors withered away.
I could tell he was not impressed.
He bragged, “We do so much volume on Facebook, we have a dedicated rep who puts through all our offers.”
If you’re familiar with Facebook’s policies (recently i looked at them for another client who wanted to expand his offer beyond Google)…there are weird rules about what is allowed. Many business types cannot be advertised there.
Although I was surprised, i could also see the general pattern of their rules. Any ad or advertised product deemed inappropriate for a general family audience is not allowed.
Strangely, however, i’ve seen many such products advertised there anyway. Those campaigns have also been, oddly, well funded.
Could it be, these guys have Facebook’s blessing?
Is it possible that Facebook has one set of rules for the average joe advertiser, and another set of rules for agencies and merchants with deep pockets?
The agency guy continued bragging with examples of the kind of offers their rep was manually approving. None of them were family friendly.
Although I do not recall his exact examples to share with you, one product that shocked me was in the category of weapons.
Now, you might think this is an isolated case.
However, a DIFFERENT friend who is a Facebook consultant told me more weirdness.
He said that Facebook has recently become desperate for advertiser money recently. Due to their poor handling of misinformation and hate speech, they lost many big advertisers. As such, there is no better time than now to get a banned account reinstated.
I am certain it is not Facebook’s policy to violate their own rules. But there is likely a flaw in their review system or how they compensate their reps to make such systematic biases possible.
Either way, this all sounds to me like a lot of instability and unpredictable behaviour that can upset your business.
You invest a fair amount of assets and resources into running an ad campaign, beyond the advertising budget. So you wanna sell your stuff and not worry about the whims of the network.
With Google, on the other hand, it has been my experience the SAME rules apply to all advertisers. No matter how deep or shallow your pockets are.
For instance, I spend a significant amount of money with Google and have done so for years…you may only spend eg, $5/day…
But just like you, if i need a manual review, i must call their support line—the same number you have—and be put on hold before i can ask for that review. Like for you, there is no guarantee they will do a manual review nor is there any bias that mine will be successful…certainly i have been turned away a number of times. Furthermore, my review will not take precedence over yours. Both you and i will wait a few days to a week to get a decision.
And if your ad is compliant when mine is not, yours WILL be approved, and mine will not.
Google shows no favouritism based on the budget.
I have known people who spent as much as $100,000 per DAY on Google ads whose ads were comprehensively disapproved for violating policies. They got no special treatment.
So yeah, as unexciting as it sounds, this really is my ‘secret’ with Google:
I follow sound marketing principles, but i bound my marketing with their rules.
There is no special spending advantage. And I don’t have any guy on the inside to help bypass the review process.
With Google, you get a level playing field. And if you’re willing to play by the rules, with a small budget you have just as good a chance at success as anyone with a bigger budget. In my experience it is more fair than Facebook. And it leaves plenty of wiggle room for the product categories you can run, including…
Adult, weight loss, supplements, make money, and so on.
These kind of products are allowed on Google.
There IS scrutiny, of course…special precautions you must take to run your ads. You’ll find all relevant rules documented in their ad policies and if you will follow the rules for your category, you can advertise almost any legal product without issue.
Oh, by the way, the agency…
Well, a few weeks after our call, i learned their Facebook rep left and all the ads he pushed past review were shut down. I can imagine that would be quite devastating for an agency which relies heavily on their (collective) big wallet to keep all their clients’ ads running. I’m sure they eventually sorted it out…but it’s not really a good long term strategy, is it?
This is why after all these years, i’m still using and teaching Google Ads.
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