Facebook to eliminate sponsored search results

SponsoredResultsTeaserAs part of its recent advertising simplification push, Facebook is eliminating its sponsored search results ad unit. A Facebook spokesperson told Inside Facebook that the reason why the sponsored results will be nixed is because the most common marketers for them were app and game developers, and Facebook feels that the mobile app install ads and page post link ads are more efficient ways to reach this goal.

A Facebook spokesperson announced the news to Inside Facebook:

In keeping with the goal of streamlining our ad products, starting in July advertisers will no longer be able to buy sponsored results. We’ve seen that most marketers were buying sponsored results to advertise their apps and games, and we already offer mobile app install ads and Page post link ads on desktop to achieve these same goals.

Facebook noted that this won’t happen immediately. Starting in July, Facebook will no longer offer sponsored search results as an ad unit and by mid to late July, users will stop seeing sponsored search results.

The company is placing an emphasis on search and continuing to develop it. The Facebook spokesperson noted that sponsored results were rolled out before Graph Search, so the site is now figuring out the best way to tailor ads specifically to Graph Search. Advertisers can still buy search products, specifically with ads on search results pages.

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 10.20.18 AM

Facebook is trying to think about how to take advantage of its unique search product and figure out new ways that marketers can benefit from Graph Search.

It’s a little odd why Facebook is eliminating this now. Advertisers have said that the sponsored results offered a high clickthrough rate at a low cost-per-click. Nanigans wrote in September that the clickthrough rates of sponsored results were 23 times greater than those of marketplace ads, with a 78 percent lower cost-per-click.

When asked about potentially having sponsored results in hashtag searches (for which Facebook launched support on Wednesday), the Facebook spokesperson told Inside Facebook that the company couldn’t comment on speculation, but one could imagine how it could work. Right now, the company is focused on figuring out how everything fits together with regard to advertising and search.

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Marketers: How do you feel about this?

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