Facebook is branching out to deliver ads to users who don’t have an account with the network. In a move that brings Facebook partner sites into the advertising equation, the social giant is set to take on Google’s AdSense head-to-head.


Facebook takes on Google Display ads

Facebook’s rise to advertising prowess has been pretty meteoric over the last few years. This has given Google a lot to think about and many of the latest AdWords targeting options have come after Facebook rolled out similar features before it.

In some ways Facebook has eclipsed AdWords, in other ways it’s still catching up. But there’s always been a divide of intent that separates the two. For advertisers they serve different functions. So, while Facebook has taken a good chunk of PPC market share from AdWords recently, it never put up shop in Google’s front yard. This looks set to change.


Facebook says better ads are on the way

Cynics may have a different reaction to news of yet more Facebook ads, but the network is confident it can bring a better quality of advertising to the web.

“One of the things we’ve heard from people is that many of the ads they see are annoying, distracting, or misleading,” says Andrew Bosworth, VP Engineering, Ads and Pages at Facebook. “We think companies can do better, and that’s why we’ve been focused on improving ads both on and off Facebook.”

The social giant has made a clear effort to improve the quality of ads on its network and the results have been pretty good for advertisers and users alike. Now the firm will use cookies, like buttons and other plugins installed on third-party sites to track people around the web. That means people without a Facebook account (yes, there are still a few left) can now be targeted across the web.

It will be interesting to see how people take to the move and what Facebook can achieve in its mission to improve online ads. Equally, we’ll be looking forward to see what Google can pull out of the bag to hold on to its market share.