Facebook announced that they are rolling out Relevance Scores, available through Ad Reporting Tools and partnered APIs, starting this week. Along with allowing people to track the efficacy of their ads, the scores will also allow Facebook to penalize ads with lower scores by charging more money to display them, although the second bit wasn’t emphasized nearly as much in the first in their blog post.
Unlike the AdWord’s Quality Score, which is based on clicks and keyword relevance (but mostly clicks), the Facebook Relevance Score is determined by ad interactions, which can be likes, shares or clicking to watch a video. There are also user actions that can lower an ad’s score, such as blocking an ad. Ads are scored between 1 and 10, with 10 being the best score.
In addition to being used as a way to measure how ads are received by Facebook users, the score will also determine the cost of an ad and, in some cases, if it is shown. The exact math behind this isn’t even remotely discussed, but someone with a Relevance Score of 5 will not get their ad shown if someone with the same bid and and Score of 6 is competing for the same ad space. However, if someone is willing to spend enough money, they can still ensure that an ad is shown, even if it has a low score.
Relevance scores are calculated based on an ad’s goal. For example, app installs may matter more than shares if your goal is installs, and clicks may matter more if your goal is increased visitors to your site or business page. This also reduces the impact that scores will have on campaigns that focus on increasing user awareness. Facebook notes that ads that have guaranteed impressions will not be effected by Relevance Score pricing adjustments.