Auction Overlap and Ad Performance

Auction Overlap can hurt your Facebook ad performance.

I’ve been talking a lot about Auction Overlap lately in response to what some people tell me they’re doing related to scaling their campaigns.

A common strategy is to duplicate an active campaign, increase the budget with the duplicate, wait until it’s performing well, and then turn off the campaign with the lower budget.

While this is certainly preferred over restarting the learning phase, Auction Overlap is almost certain to come about.

Auction Overlap is when two ads from the same page attempt to enter the same ad auction. To prevent that from happening, the ad with the highest total value will be chosen. The other ad will not enter the auction.

The result of this is one ad that may struggle to get delivery. It may not reach its budget or get enough actions to exit the learning phase.

Because we’re duplicating a campaign, you’ll have two identical ads targeting identical audiences. This will certainly lead to Auction Overlap.

Whether that leads to noticeably bad results is another matter. But it certainly can.

My recommendation for scaling is one of two approaches:

1. Start with a high budget and pull back if you aren’t getting the results you want

2. Scale slowly using Automated Rules based on performance.

How do you detect Auction Overlap? That’s another issue. Previously, you could view it in the Inspect Tool. That no longer exists. Now you will get alerts when it’s an “issue,” and you can also create Automated Rules to take care of it when it’s a problem.