Did you know Google and Facebook generate over 80% of their revenue from advertising?

This is due to the massive advertising networks that both businesses own and operate. That’s why Facebook remarketing and Google Display Network comes in handy with generating personalised and targeted ads to users. These tools help to increase brand loyalty, awareness, and click-through-rate. 

On one hand, Google is the world’s largest search engine. But on the other hand, Facebook is the largest social network. Both mediums are the perfect place to advertise, but for different reasons. 

After marketing for a long time, at Web3 we know that it is never one size fits all. 

Does this sound like something you want for your business? We discuss which advertising network is best for you and has the best ROI: Facebook remarketing or Google Display Network. 

Within each network, we break down:

Google Display Network

What is GDN?

Google Display ads help to promote and advertise your business on Google web properties, including YouTube, Blogger, Gmail, and more. Google Display Network embeds ads into websites that use Google advertising. GDN can often be confused with Google Search Ads, which display the ads as text-based search results above the organic results. Overall, GDN is an opportunity to build brand awareness and increase the click-through-rate of your site.

When your website receives clicks, a portion of your money goes to the service. However, this percentage of money does not come without its pros. Google Display ads offer an impressionable global reach. It also allows you to connect with users of over a million websites, such as news articles or blogs.

Google Display Network can display ads on websites in various formats including video, image and text.
Google Display Network can display ads on websites in various formats.

Important Features

Google Display Network offers a variety of display formats. They include text, image, in-video ads, mobile web, and mobile games. They are all designed to capture the attention of potential customers. You are bound to find your desired target marketing through at least one of the available formats. Although, these aspects need to have approved specifications based on their display ad requirements. 

How does Google Display Network work?

GDN offers a variety of targeting options to ensure your advertisement is targeting your desired and relevant audiences. 

I bet you’ve noticed certain ads appearing on the webpages you visit in your spare time and wonder, how did they know I’m interested in that? Well, Google notes its users’ previous site visits and clicks, using cookies to link your interests and demographic categories, showing you these highly targeted sites.

Facebook remarketing

What is Facebook remarketing?

Facebook remarketing includes displaying target ads to audiences who have not progressed on your website or have abandoned their cart. Cart abandonment has recently increased. It can be immensely frustrating pinning down why your audience is clicking through and bouncing around your site or adding items to their cart but not progressing. Facebook tracking pixels will identify these users and deliver them with highly targeted ads to lure them back into where they left off. Cool, right?

People spend more time on Google, yet Facebook receives higher pageviews. It is because it can target them more times. Frequency is key to most marketing strategies. Facebook remarketing is the perfect way to win back lost traffic, as it allows you to target specific demographics showing your ads up front and center.

The process of Facebook Remarketing consists of the users being tracked and then shown ads from businesses who want to turn these lost leads into customers.
The process of Facebook Remarketing consists of the users being tracked and then shown ads from businesses who want to turn these lost leads into customers.

Facebook Newest features

When it comes to ad creative, Facebook has gone above and beyond over the past couple of years. They introduced their ‘instant experience’ which showcases a product or service from the user’s screen. With the inclusion of a 360 video, mobile devices are now interactive and engaging. This new inclusion makes for a fun, sophisticated and professional experience for your customer to reconnect with your business. 

How does Facebook Remarketing work?

To target these customers, you must first create a custom audience. These could be existing customers or people who have interacted with you on other platforms. Then add and test your pixels manually or via tools like Shopify. It is a valuable platform that can target your lost leads, increase conversion rate, and cart abandonment issues. 

Reasons for Consideration

People are, on average, spending about one hour on Facebook, which is significantly lower compared to the combination of Google’s web properties. Facebook remarketing also has a lower click-through-rate, potentially being affected by the minor ad formats and options for display compared to Google Display. The placement of these ads includes newsfeed, sidebar and mobile. 


Facebook remarketing and Google Display Network can increase your ROI and rapidly grow your business in conjunction with organic advertising. Overall, it comes down to what your business needs and the behaviour of your audience. 

Listen In

Do you want to know which advertising network will allow you to turn your lost leads into loyal customers? In this episode of our Marketing Debate, James and Joseph discuss Facebook remarketing and Google Display network and what works best and why? 

Listen in to their debate, and let us know in the comments below if you’ve ever seen these types of ads pop up on your network.

Podcast: Ep 14 – Google Display Network Vs Facebook Remarketing


James Banks:
Hello everyone. And, welcome to another episode of the Web3 Marketing Debate show. I’m your host, James Banks.

Joseph Chesterton:
And, I’m your cohost, Joseph Chesterton.

James Banks:
Today we will be debating remarketing. Specifically about the two gorillas in the room, Facebook versus Google Display Network remarketing, and which one is best? I’ll be debating for Facebook remarketing.

Joseph Chesterton:
And obviously, I’ll be talking about the Google Display Network.

James Banks:
So, Joseph for why is the Google Display Network better at remarketing, or better for remarketing compared to Facebook?

Joseph Chesterton:
Well, firstly what is Google Display Network and Facebook marketing? Google Display Network is often confused for Google search ads, but it shouldn’t. It’s a completely different part of the Google advertising suite. 

Display ads can help to promote your business. When browsing online, people see ads on other websites. Those ads are put/injected into those websites via the Google Display Network. These ads can be placed on any website that uses Google advertising, YouTube, Gmail or mobile apps that use Google Display Network advertising. 

Websites hosting the Google Display Network script, get a portion of the money once the ad gets clicks. As a result, Google gets to display the ad on their website. The Google Display Network reaches most users worldwide and has millions of websites using it. 

What’s Facebook remarketing, James?

James Banks:
Facebook remarketing, is quite similar to how you describe Google Display Network. However, rather than your remarketing ad displayed on any one of the thousand websites in the Google Display Network, it only shows up on one website, Facebook.

This will appear if you have the Facebook pixel on your website, and active Facebook ads remarketing campaign. You can configure your settings, controls and marketing scripts via our previous episode on a Google display versus direct integration through Tag Manager.

But essentially, with Facebook remarketing, your ad can show up to these users’ Facebook. 

When they enter your website, they get ‘cookied’, and once they’re on Facebook, depending on your settings, they will see your ad. That’s essentially how it works in a nutshell. 

You can also choose your remarketing ads to show up on other Facebook properties, such as Instagram and Messenger. You also can select and choose which platform you wish your ad to show up in.

Joseph Chesterton:
So, which one produces the best results? The answer to that is like how long is a piece of string. It comes down to what you need. 

So, where are your customers hanging out? 

Google Display Network, covers 95% of web traffic, so that’s all your news outlets, blogs, and random cat video websites. If they’re using advertising on their website, it’ll most likely be through Google Display Network. 

If your customers are on those websites, you can target them using Google Display Network. Whereas, with Facebook remarketing, you’re just limited to Facebook’s platforms. So, if that’s what you’re targeting, then Facebook may be the solution for that.

But chances are, your customers won’t be just on Facebook, they’ll be going across any number of websites. Google Display Network, will cookie the user and display your ads across multiple websites, then you can essentially have a billboard right in front of the user’s face, across their entire online journey. 

However, with Facebook remarketing, they use the Facebook pixel to track you so they can see where you’re going around the web, but it’s not until you returned to Facebook when you get remarketed to. Overall, Facebook is essentially just a couple of apps. Whereas with Google Display Network, you’re targeting the entire internet. Done deal.

James Banks:
Well, not quite Joseph. Yes, Facebook might not have the actual width or breadth of individual site placement. However, the activity within its platforms is dramatically higher with higher dwell time. 

For example, people spend a lot more time per day on Facebook, as opposed to any one of the thousands of sites in the display network. As the saying goes in advertising, the business that is the most recent and frequent and front of mind is the one that ultimately earns customer loyalty and the sale.

So, if your audience is spending a fair bit of time on Facebook, Instagram, or Messenger, and your remarketing messages are showing up in front of them everywhere, you don’t want them to get burnt out. 

There is a high chance that they could click through and potentially make the sale because they spend most of their time there. But, as you said, it’s very situationally dependent on the business, and how they’re marketing and advertising. It’s one component of a big piece of the wheel. 

So, why would you say Google Display Network is better for lead generation or sale generation, as opposed to Facebook remarketing, Joseph?

Joseph Chesterton:
It comes back to where your customers are hanging out. They may spend a lot of time on Facebook, but their entire online journey (if you consider every single website that a user visits) will take up the majority of the time. 

So, with that said, if you’re able to put banner ads or billboards, essentially, in front of people and target them across every single website, then it kind of can feel more natural. Whereas, with remarketing, you have to wait until they return to Facebook. 

It just feels like they’re stalking you. 

The great thing about a display network is if you go to one site you can set triggers, so that if they go to another site, then a different or a similar ad can be displayed. 

You can get crafty with your advertising so that it’s easier to sell. Customers will then more likely be able to see your ads and buy from you.

There’s a really good story I heard, it’s about a small toothbrush or toothpaste company… This smaller company were trying to get into Walmart or one of the big department stores. They worked out where the head office of Walmart was and their geolocation. 

They set the display network to target only people in that specific area. The ad was something along the lines of ‘Walmart staff have stinky breath – that’s why they should stock this toothpaste and, all their problems will be gone.’. Something along those lines. They targeted the head office of Walmart who was in charge of the stocking and became visible to the people at Walmart.

After seeing it all over the internet, they ended up contacting the toothpaste saying, stop this, you’re ruining our reputation, we don’t have stinky breath. This then opened up the conversation to stock the toothpaste brand in Walmart. 

The amazing thing was that they only spent tens of dollars on their advertising, and were able to target the people in Walmart. 

If they had done that on Facebook, then perhaps they wouldn’t have been able to have the same effect because that ad was everywhere. And it made the people at Walmart think that this toothpaste company was spending millions of dollars to advertise it.

This toothpaste that they stocked was inferior to the one that they already stocked. So, it’s a pretty interesting story that they used the Google Display Network to do that. And, they did that with pennies, versus targeting millions of people. 

It was a very interesting thing, if you’re smart about it, you can target people and cause a big impact. It just depends on your ability as a marketer, I guess, because yes, you can do lead generation on Facebook, but can you target specific people across the entirety of the internet?

James Banks:
I love that story. But I’d argue, you could probably have gotten a better result by doing it through Facebook. I don’t think Facebook ads were in play when that story happened. 

But, here’s the thing, they could have remarketed to anyone that works at Walmart as an example, or has visited the site and works at Walmart. And then, they show them an ad set of, a Walmart person with stinky breath, or whatever it might be. Which is arguably more targeted than just using a geolocation filter. 

This is the thing where I think Facebook wins… when you do the good old Google versus Facebook debate, it still is a tried and tested method. It allows you to target friends of friends.

So, you have someone that has entered your site, and their friends meet your targeting criteria. You could then have that remarketing ad show up to the friends of the friends, through custom audiences, things like that. So, it can give you different options of targeting, a little bit more personalised targeting as opposed to the display network. 

However, as we have said earlier before, it does depend on how you’re marketing your business. For example, if you are using Facebook ads, non remarketing, like straight-up Facebook ads, brand Allegiant campaigns, someone enters your site and it makes sense to remarket to them. 

They abandon your site. 

You go to e-commerce, they don’t check out. It makes sense to remarket to them with a cart abandonment ad through the Facebook platform, cause that’s how they originally discovered you.

However, ultimately if you’re remarketing on Facebook, then why not also include remarketing across the Google Display Network? 

As we mentioned earlier in the piece, recency and frequency is a core component to being able to have the brand that wins the brand loyalty of the uneducated customer, at the end of the day. So, being able to combine both of them is typically how we approach things, and then being able to tailor the targeting and the platforms accordingly, depending on the context of the business, the products and services being offered. 

So, with that said, Joseph, is there anything else you wanted to add to this debate?

Joseph Chesterton:
No, I think I’ll just echo what you said. It depends on where your audience is and what you’re selling. Chances are your clients are going to be in multiple places. They will be on Facebook because it’s the largest social network in the world. 

But, they also will access dozens of other sites where the Google Display Network will work. So, what better way to sell to them then every single place they go online. 

So, I would say both are just as good as each other. You just need to know who to target.

James Banks:
Well, I think that’s a wrap. So, again, thank you so much for shooting into another episode of the Web3 Marketing Debate show. Hope you enjoyed that and learned something new. We will be in your earbuds, hopefully again, real soon. 

So, with that said and done, have a lovely day. We’ll talk to you again real soon.