Facebook starts testing ads in search results


Facebook announced Tuesday that it is testing ads in its search results. The test will run in the platform’s primary search results as well as in Marketplace search results.

Why you should care

Search is one of the few untapped inventory sources remaining on the social platform, which has seen many advertisers directing more budget to Instagram this year. The initial ad test in search results is limited to select automotive and retail advertisers, but if the company sees a promising response, it will open up search results ad inventory more broadly.

“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,” said Facebook product manager Zoheb Hajiyani.

Advertisers participating in the test can select “Search Results” as an additional placement option that will apply to both primary search and Marketplace search inventory. With the current group of beta-advertisers, ads may appear in search results for terms related to auto or retail topics. Advertisers cannot select specific keywords or phrases to target.

More on Facebook’s search result ad test

  • The test is available for static image and carousel ads. It does not support video ads at this time.
  • Ads placed in search results during this beta run will only appear in the U.S. and Canada. If they ads get a larger roll-out, Facebook may open the ads to more countries.
  • The ads include the clearly labeled “Sponsored” tag and transparency controls for users such as the “Why Am I Seeing This” option.

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is Third Door Media’s General Assignment Reporter, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs.com, SoftwareCEO.com, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.



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