Facebook Ad Quality - Everything You Need To Know

Many Facebook advertisers struggle with getting consistent results from their ads. It seems random why some ads are profitable while others struggle. We’ve gone through crafting the perfect Facebook image ad. This article dives into Facebook’s ad quality. Understanding how ad quality works will help you create better ads.

Understand Facebook Ad Policies

You run the risk of getting your ad rejected if you don’t follow Facebook’s ad policies. The policies tell you the types of ad content are allowed. You should read the policy in its entirety and stay in compliance.


Ads are reviewed by automated tools. This makes it difficult to know why an ad was rejected and getting it reviewed again. Often it is better to create a new ad instead. The automated review checks all aspects of an ad including the landing page that the ad links to. It is a thorough process. Everything that is part of the Facebook ad quality score is included.

Repeated violations of ad policies will incur stricter enforcement. This could include disabling your ad account, ad manager, business manager, pages, and more. Read about setting up Facebook Ad Managers to be prepared should this happen. Recovery after a ban is time consuming. You don’t want to be unable to run ads or have to pay for a primed account to be able to run ads for you.

Prohibited And Restricted Content

Always remember that Facebook is a business. You are playing by their rules, which is meant to make as much money as possible for Facebook. There are 30 items under prohibited content and 14 more under restricted content. Read them and understand them. Most are common sense for a social platform. For example, no adult content, no infringing content, and no pyramid schemes or penny stocks are allowed to be advertised.

Make no mistake, some of the restrictions are highly subjective. For example, Facebook states that ads containing misinformation or are controversial are prohibited. Yet, many ads with that kind of content will be approved. You should avoid these types of ads. Even if they are not rejected, it could trigger people hiding or worse, reporting your ad. As we’ll see later negative engagement is a fast pass to getting banned.

Video Ads

Basically, make sure that the video is PG. Excessive depictions of drug use, violence, profanity, or adult content are not allowed. You can advertise content intended for mature audiences with prior written consent from Facebook.

Disruptive videos are not allowed. For example, ads that use flashing lights or sounds to get attention.

Displaying Personal Information

Facebook enables some pretty specific targeting. It does not, however, mean that you can use that in your ad copy. Signal published an interesting experiment with showing users the information that Facebook collects on users through an ad campaign. Needless to say, it was never approved. It is a great way to get your account suspended. Also, remember that Signal is a competitor to Facebook in the messaging space.

Be Smart

If your goal is to promote your business and that business isn’t restricted by Facebook, you should be fine. Ads that are entertaining or valuable perform better. Lower customer acquisition costs should be your goal. Tricking people is not going to help your business. There are ‘ad hacks’ that you’ll find on the internet. Avoid them if they are doing something that is unintended. Your temporary victory may wind up in a long ban.

Community Guidelines

Hidden within all of the massive policies are links to community policies that you must also follow. There are Facebook community standards and Instagram community guidelines. While most of the guidelines are covered in the ad policies, you should read these for greater understanding.

Avoid Low-Quality Attributes

You can think of low-quality attributes as things you would see in tabloids. Headlines such as:

  • You won’t believe what happened next …
  • 7 AMAZING benefits of …
  • Watch this SHOCKING transformation …
  • LIKE this if you agree …

If it sounds like BS, Facebook will consider it low-quality.

Your ad won’t get banned unless it violates policy, but it will impact your costs. Facebook has a helpful post on advertising attributes to avoid. Everything in this section also applies to your landing page.

Withholding Information

Ad content that withholds information is annoying. They are meant to make you click on them to discover the ending. Everyone likes closure and the thought is that you’re more likely to engage.

You’re more likely just annoying people.

Sensationalized Language / Click Bait

If you say something is mind-blowing and take me to a boring landing page, I’m not going to be happy. These headlines are common for blog posts and tabloids. They shouldn’t be in your ads. Your ad won’t be banned, but it will decrease the quality score and likely increase your costs.

Engagement Bait

You’ve seen posts like this. It tells you to like something if you agree. Or you’ll see a sob story with a bet you won’t follow. Facebook calls this engagement bait. The goal is to increase the engagement of your ad through inauthentic and manipulative means.

User Signals

While ads that have low-quality attributes will be approved, they come with risks. Facebook looks to user signals to help determine the quality of ads. Negative engagement is something you want to avoid.

Hiding Ads

There are several ways to hide ads:

  • Hide a specific ad.
  • Hide all ads from a specific advertiser.
  • Hide repetitive ad.

All are signals to Facebook that your ads are low-quality. This will impact your costs for the ad. In the case of hiding all ads that is a larger signal to Facebook. If you have enough negative feedback you will face a suspension of your ad account. Social Media Examiner has a good article that describes where to find negative feedback and how to calculate the negative feedback rate.

Reporting Ads

When a user reports an ad, it provides a strong signal that it may violate Facebook’s ad policies. As we’ve seen, violating ad policies is a quick way to wind up in Facebook advertising jail.

Notice that the reasons for reporting the ad are all policy violations. A few people reporting your ad over several thousand impressions is not a good sign. You want to avoid having your ad reported at all costs.

Landing Page Bounce Rate

Facebook does look at the landing page that an ad is linked to. Everything that applies to the ad also applies to the landing page. The bounce rate is the same calculation as it is for any web page on your site. If the bounce rate is high that is a signal to Facebook that the landing page or ad may be misleading or not relevant.

Landing Page Dwell Time

The dwell time is how long someone remains on the landing page. Your dwell time may be low because you have high conversions. That is not a negative signal because of the conversion. But if the dwell time is short without conversions that is a sign that you’ve got a disconnect that should be fixed.


Conversions are good for your business and good for Facebook. It shows that the ad and landing page align with a strong enough offer for a user to convert. Facebook keeps users happy and advertisers paying. Not all conversions are the same. Facebook goes into some detail about conversion rate ranking to provide guidelines. Higher priced items are expected to have fewer conversions. B2B sales are also expected to have fewer conversions.


Facebook wants its users to engage. In considering Facebook ad quality, positive engagement is a good signal for quality. Facebook has a post that details what they consider post engagement. Post engagement is as follows (excluding negative engagement):

  • Viewing a photo or video (3 seconds or more).
  • Share a post.
  • React to a post.
  • Save a post.
  • Comment on a post.
  • Like a page.
  • Link clicks.

AdEspresso ran an experiment to see if more engagement on an ad would lower costs. The results were that higher engagement lowered costs, but not at a statistically relevant level. What was not tested was the overall deliverability of the ads. Remember that Facebook’s engagement rate ranking is estimated. The ranking is used as part of the quality score, which determines which ads Facebook will show in the auction.


Facebook ad quality is summarized through relevancy. Facebook has a relevancy diagnostics tool that considers the quality of the post, the conversions, and the engagement. Everything discussed above becomes part of your ranking. Facebook will show you a score from below average to above average broken down as follows:

  • Above average.
  • Average.
  • Below average (bottom 35% of ads).
  • Below average (bottom 20% of ads).
  • Below average (bottom 10% of ads).

Facebook considers “average” to be between the 35th and 55th percentile. This means your ad score better than 35% of others and up to 55% better. You do not want to rank below average and should be shooting for above average.

The relevancy metric isn’t perfect. You’ll come across ads that perform well when ranked below average by Facebook. It is important to experiment and see what works.

Bringing Value And Entertaining

As mentioned, Facebook cares deeply about engagement. You want your Facebook ad to not feel like an ad. Think of the commercials you’re used to seeing. Which are memorable? Which aren’t?

Great advertising tells a story. If you focus on bringing value to your audience and entertaining them, you’ll create ads that match Facebook’s criteria.


Here are a couple of ads that work. Superhuman is an email client with a mission to help people take back their inboxes. The ad is simple and shows an image that most people are familiar with.

Adobe Photoshop created a video ad that shows exactly what you can do with their software.

Collecting Banned Ads

It is important to understand ads that get banned. There are plenty of examples of ‘top performing’ Facebook ads. We want to collect ads of all types that have gotten banned. Facebook makes mistakes as shown in this post by Northwall Gallery with an image containing naked cows.

As advertisers, we can all learn more by showcasing banned ads. As we collect images and videos of banned ads, we’ll post them so the community can learn. It will be helpful to see how policies from Facebook change over time. Send you banned ads to hello@kalyber.com.

Final Thoughts

Facebook ad quality is based on a number of factors. You need to obey Facebooks’s ad policies, produce quality posts, and avoid being spammy or trying to trick the user. Facebook does reject ads and can even ban ad accounts.

Your best performing ads are going to be the ads that bring value to the user. If you keep that as your focus, your ads will be profitable.