Low-Quality Ad Content and Post-Click Experiences

Ad quality is an important factor in the Meta ad auction. It could be the difference when given the choice of two ads to show.

While this is something to consider from an ad-to-ad basis, it’s also a potentially much bigger problem if you make a habit of creating low-quality ads. Per Meta:

In certain instances, if you repeatedly post policy-violating or lower quality ads, our systems may start considering all ads from your Page, domain, ad account or other associated entities as lower quality.

This could become a long-term problem. But Meta does say that if you correct course, your ad performance should improve “over time.”

When considering ad quality, Meta’s systems also look beyond the ad to the post-click experience (like the landing page). Do not ignore the landing page when addressing ad quality.

In this post, you’ll learn some specific examples of the following:

  • Low-quality ad content
  • Low-quality post-click experiences
  • User signals
  • Low Quality or Disruptive Content advertising policy

At the end, I’ll provide recommendations on how to address ad quality.

Low-Quality Ad Content

First, you need to avoid specific uses of copy and language in your ad that will flag it as low quality.

These are things that are generally allowed, but within reason. What you’ll eventually find at the end of this post is that any of these things in excess will be considered an ad policy violation that will get your ads rejected.

1. Withholding information.

In other words, “clickbait.” We see organic content like this all the time. There’s some big, shocking news story, but the headline and post leave out important details. If we want to clear up what actually happened, we have to click.

As a sports nut, I see this all the time (again, not with ads but organic content). A shared link with a featured image that doesn’t clearly depict a specific player. A headline and maybe primary text about a rumor or transaction related to this unnamed player. If you want to know who it is, you need to click.

It doesn’t mean that everything needs to be in your primary text, featured image, and headline. But if you are clearly omitting important information in an attempt to inspire the click, it will qualify as low quality.

Here are a couple of great examples that Meta shared…

Withholding information low-quality ad

2. Sensationalized language.

Another form of clickbait, but this form of low-quality ad content is specific to exaggerated text and headlines. Some things actually are shocking. But if the sensationalized text inspires a click and the actual content doesn’t follow through with a shocking story, it can be classified as low-quality ad content.

Here’s an example from Meta related to “MIND-BLOWING uses of carrots!”

Sensationalized language low-quality ad content

3. Engagement bait.

This would include ads that inspire or request actions (typically comments, shares, likes, and other reactions) in an unnatural way. Once again, we see this often with organic content. You may even benefit from it. But it may work against you when running ads.

LIKE if you like baseball, LOVE if you’re a Brewers fan, comment “YES” if you’re both, and SHARE if the Brewers are going to the World Series this season.

Maybe that’s over the top. But here are a couple of examples from Meta…

Engagement bait low-quality ad content

Low-Quality Post-Click Experiences

Sometimes, your ad is fine but it’s your landing page that is the problem. As was the case with low-quality ads, the following post-click experiences are technically allowed, within reason, but they could impact your ad costs. If your use of these things is extreme, it could get your ads rejected.

We’ll get to the similarities between these examples and Meta’s own ad policy at the bottom of this post.

1. Lack substantive or original content.

Meta doesn’t provide specific examples of this, but I assume this could include a wide variety of problematic content. Maybe you direct to stolen content or the page has basically nothing on it of value.

How quality is measured related to “substantive” is unclear. But if you direct to a very simple landing page, keep this in mind.

2. Disproportionate volume of ads relative to content.

It’s not uncommon for websites to monetize themselves with ads, so that isn’t a problem in itself. The problem is when those ads become “disproportionate.”

Once again, Meta doesn’t define this so that we know what percentage of real estate would qualify, but keep it in mind. I know that some advertisers send traffic to their website for the sole purpose of collecting on ad revenue. If you overdo it here, it could increase your costs.

3. Pop-up ads or interstitial ads.

I have pop-up ads. You may have even seen one while reading this post. That doesn’t make my website unique.

Look, I hate pop-ups, too. Unfortunately, they remain very effective. And when I turned them off for a year or two, I felt it.

Once again, pop-up ads are allowed. Your Meta ads won’t be rejected if you send people to a landing page with a pop-up ad. You may not even see a noticeable difference in costs. But it’s another factor that will contribute to whether the experience is considered low-quality.

4. Unexpected content experiences.

The example Meta provided is “spreading an article’s content across multiple pages and requiring someone to click and/or load multiple pages to read through the full article.”

This makes me think of lists and other popular types of content that don’t allow you to read the full piece in one page. The website benefits from clicks, so you’re forced to click multiple times to keep reading.

I don’t know if this includes lazy loading pages where only a portion of the page loads and you need to click to keep reading and make the remaining article visible.

5. Misleading experiences.

According to Meta’s examples, this tends to apply to negative shopping experiences: Landing page content that misrepresents products, shipping times, or other customer support issues.

This one again isn’t all that clear, but it’s ultimately related to a bad customer experience that happens post-click.

User Signals

Many of the examples so far may be detected automatically from Meta’s systems. But there are also ways that users can notify Meta of problems related to low-quality ads and post-click experiences.

1. Hiding ads.

Specifically, three different actions that users can take:

  • Hide ad
  • Hide all ads from this advertiser
  • Hide ad due to repetition

2. Report ads.

You can report ads for a long list of reasons that would be signals of low quality.

Meta Report Ads

I know that some advertisers are probably wary of user reports contributing to Meta’s quality signals, but it’s safe to say that any ad — no matter how innocent — will get negative responses. Some people simply hate all ads and will report or hide them all. They have unreasonable expectations.

The problem will be if Meta receives an abnormal rate of these reports on your ads.

3. Landing page activity.


  • Landing page bounce rate
  • Landing page dwell time

This makes sense, specifically tied to clickbait and post-click experiences. Maybe the ad inspired an action, but the landing page didn’t follow through. Or maybe the experience on the landing page was so bad (pop-ups, high volume of ads, generally low quality) that you immediately abandon.

Low Quality or Disruptive Content advertising policy

The content above is related to low-quality, but allowed, ad content. Too much of it can negatively impact delivery and costs.

But Meta also has an advertising policy regarding restricted Low Quality or Disruptive Content. If you violate any of these policies, your ads may be rejected.

1. Examples of restricted low-quality ad content.

Images that are excessively cropped to force you to click to view more: This reminds me of what was a popular organic post type that has seemed to mysteriously disappear. It relied on large images that were broken into multiple parts, and you typically could only see one or two of those parts.

This wouldn’t just be considered low-quality, it would violate this advertising policy and should get your ad rejected.

Deceptive or exaggerated ad text that incentivizes people to click on the ad: Okay, so this is confusing. This sounds like clickbait, which was defined among the low-quality ad examples that are technically allowed, though they will likely impact costs.

Here’s an explanation from the low-quality ad content page:

Low-quality ad content

My interpretation (the best I can, at least) is that there are varying levels of deception. To a point, it’s allowed but could impact your costs negatively. Once you cross that imaginary line, it could get your ad rejected.

2. Examples of restricted destination page content.

Some of Meta’s examples are obvious:

  • Sexually suggestive or shocking content on the destination page
  • Featuring malicious or deceptive ads on destination pages

But the rest just sound like extreme examples of low-quality post-click experiences:

  • A high ratio of ads relative to content on the destination page
  • Designing destination pages for the primary purpose of showing ads
  • Using excessive popup ads, interstitial ads or poor ad formatting on destination pages

So, again, avoid sending people to pages with a high density of ads. You can use pop-ups, but they shouldn’t be “excessive.”


As you can see, these guidelines aren’t always crystal clear and the levels of severity are open to interpretation. Depending on the low-quality infraction, it may result in higher ad costs or get your ad rejected. Repeat violations may flag your page or account, and it could take time to recover.

It’s always recommended that you avoid toeing these lines of gray area. You might even see some benefits (at least organically) by doing some of these things — though those benefits may not last forever.

Bottom line: While it’s not easy to define what is and isn’t allowed, it’s ultimately not that complicated.

1. Don’t create clickbait.
2. Don’t create engage bait.
3. Don’t create landing pages that are filled with ads.
4. Don’t create bad user experiences.

Here are Meta’s three primary tips for complying with these policies:

1. Link to landing pages that include a significant amount of original content relevant to the ad

2. Minimize the amount of content that blocks or prevents people from viewing the original text on the landing page

3. Display the entire article on the primary landing page

These are very reasonable expectations.

Your Turn

What are your experiences with low-quality ad experiences?

Let me know in the comments below!