Facebook Launches Search Ads

In December, Facebook announced they are testing ads in search results. The ads will be run in both the primary search results on the platform as well as in the Marketplace search results. This move puts them once again in direct competition with Google Adwords. This isn’t the first time they’ve tried sponsored results as it first launched in 2012 but was shut down in 2013. We anticipate the move is a means to generate more revenue as revenue growth is quickly declining because Facebook is running out of Newsfeed ad space. It could also be the Stories format that advertisers are still adapting to is thought to overtake feed sharing on social apps and your social media marketing efforts.

Why This Matters for You

Search is one of the few remaining untapped inventory sources on social media. Facebook has seen more advertisers directing more of their budget to Instagram recently, so Facebook hopes to be able to redirect some of that back to their platform. The initial ad test in search results is limited to a select few retail and Automotive Advertiser. However, if Facebook sees a promising response, it will begin to allow other businesses and niches to advertise in the search results space.

Facebook product manager Zoheb Hajiyani said, “We’re running a small test to place ads in Facebook search results, and we’ll be evaluating whether these ads are beneficial for people and businesses before deciding whether to expand it.”

Advertisers who are able to participate in this test can select search results as an additional placement option that potentially places their ads in both primary search and Marketplace search inventory. Within a group of beta advertisers, ads may also show in search results for related topics. Advertisers are not allowed to select specific keywords or phrases to target.

At this time, the test only applies to static image and carousel ads. It does not apply to video ads at this time. Ads placed in the search results during the test will only appear on mobile in the United States and Canada. If the ads are successful and get a larger roll-out, Facebook may open this option to other countries. The ads include the clearly labeled sponsored tag for transparency and allow users to control their experience with the “Why am I seeing this?” option.

That said, users will not be able to opt out of seeing search ads. They will be able to hide ads using the drop-down arrows as with Newsfeed ads, but it won’t prevent different ones from showing up in search when it is used again later.

Facebook Advertising Can Impact SEO

Social signals are an essential part of Google’s ranking factors. That means you can leverage your Facebook advertising spin to enhance your SEO campaigns. If you stop thinking of Facebook as a way to sell your products and start thinking of it as a way to open a direct line of communication with your customers you can use it to establish emotional connections with your potential clients. Your Facebook advertising and social media efforts can help with your link building efforts. Well-crafted social media posts naturally generate links from across the web as your followers share your website on other platforms.

The link building also helps to increase traffic to your website both directly and indirectly which makes it easier to build a bigger Facebook following. Because of the volume of personal data Facebook has about its users, you can use it to focus on your target market. The personal data will allow you to reach People based on their age, location, and interests so you can show up in the feeds of users that are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer.

Facebook also helps you promote your brand to an overall larger audience to help build brand awareness and exposure. Ideally, the exposure will lead to more people searching for branded keywords and Google will pay attention to that.

Here at SEO Inc, we not only help you build a stellar website and execute SEO campaigns, but we can also help with pay-per-click advertising with Google Adwords, and Facebook ads.