The End of Facebook’s Relevance Score
Written by: Robin Greenbaum, Paid Social Specialist at Norbella
Unlike the “song that never ends” (sorry, not sorry for that now being stuck in your head), the argument over the accuracy of Facebook’s Relevance Score can now end. Its intended goal was to help advertisers measure how well their selected audiences related to their creative. The relevance score did not, however, impact the ad’s performance in bidding and auction.
While Facebook intended for this metric to be a valuable resource for advertisers measuring the success of campaigns, that wasn’t always the story the data was telling, leaving advertisers confused and frustrated. Zuckerberg must have heard our cries for help because over the next few weeks Facebook will be removing relevance score and replacing it with three new, more systematic metrics.
Indeed, at a recent workshop for Facebook Agency Partners, we heard from Facebook firsthand that this metric shouldn’t be the sole indication of the success of a campaign and that we should be basing performance off other metrics like CTR and conversions. Although sometimes relevance score was helpful and indicated actual relevance (or lack thereof) to the audience, often that just wasn’t the case.
For example, a campaign performing with a low CPM and CPC might have reported a relevance score of “3”. In theory, a lower score would result in high costs and low rates across the campaign, indicating a need to make edits in order to improve performance. In this example, however, and other frequent occurrences, advertisers recorded conflicting stories between the relevance score and other data points — meaning there was no clear correlation between performance and relevance. Not ideal for marketers trying to make sense of their campaigns’ performance.
Over the next few weeks, Facebook will be removing Relevance Score from reporting and replacing it with three new metrics — Quality Ranking, Engagement Rate Ranking, and Conversion Rate Ranking. According to Facebook:
“Like relevance score, these ad relevance diagnostics are not factored into an ad’s performance in the auction. We think this level of granularity will offer reporting that’s more actionable for businesses.
Ad relevance diagnostics will measure relevance across these three dimensions:
- Quality ranking: How your ad’s perceived quality compared with ads competing for the same audience.
- Engagement rate ranking: How your ad’s expected engagement rate compared with ads competing for the same audience.
- Conversion rate ranking: How your ad’s expected conversion rate compared with ads that had the same optimization goal and competed for the same audience.”
How will this impact you? Hypothetically these updates will better help advertisers gauge their target audience’s reaction to their campaigns. Facebook has recently been trying to encourage advertisers to develop higher quality, mobile-first creative and it seems that this is another little push towards that. These new metrics should help advertisers gain a better understanding of the performance of their ads in comparison to competitors also targeting that audience, while also measuring the effectiveness of the ad once the audience has seen it. A more engaging ad with a stronger call-to-action will most likely receive a higher engagement rate ranking (engagement includes any interaction with the unit including likes, clicks, comments, shares, etc.), as compared to a stale, sales-focused unit.
The conversion rate ranking takes it a step further by indicating whether your creative is driving a higher percentage of conversions compared to other ads that have the same optimization goal. These new metrics are heavily based on performance compared to other ads targeting the same audience, so while you aren’t necessarily able to see their creative, you’ll be able to understand whether optimizations need to be made to your audience, creative, objective or left as is.
Time will tell about the accuracy of these updates, but as an advertiser, I’m interested to see whether Facebook believes more in these than they did in Relevance Score. So for now, that song has ended — let’s hope it stays that way.
Robin Greenbaum is the Paid Social Specialist at Norbella. Robin balances her time between her passion for animals and the search for her next meal.