Yes, it might be a poor use of their money, but they can decide what to do with their ad money.
As a commenter on the blog noted: Google regulates this somewhat with their quality score algorithm and charges more for people with irrelevant ads & content, but at the ened of the day, if someone wants to bid their way to the top, it's still just an auction system and they can certainly do that if they want.
My opinion is that it's a terrible way for Facebook to showcase their entry into the market of paid placement for search results.
It's most likely designed that way. While it might not work to make YOU click it, most likely neither do paid search ads. Fortunately, 2-3% of searchers do find them useful and those 2-3% of people usually translate into substantial revenue that makes the continued advertisement worthwhile for the advertiser to continue.
What's curious to me is the difference between the Democrats and Republicans on this. The Romney campaign is clearly on the offensive as well as playing smart defense. If you search for Paul Ryan, you see Romney as the top result. If you search for Bill Clinton, either Ryan or Romney show up. The Obama campaign does not appear to be bidding on any terms.
The PACs aren't allowed to have direct contact with the candidates.
My Facebook friends mostly just think it is funny. (That's regardless of what their political opinions are.)
I find the sponsored results in Google to be much less off putting.
Not yet, at least – but if you use 'Instant', where the results are appearing below the completion dropdown, you will see ads flashing there on less-than-your-full query.
Maybe Obama is just more popular with a younger facebook using crowd?
I completely agree with the article. People complain about the screen real estate on Google results pages without realizing that the other things on the page are either highly relevant ads, or tools to help you search better/efficiently.
In this case, Facebook is doing the opposite. NOTHING about that is good and I don't know why anyone would pay for it. Anyone looking for Obama is not going to NOT NOTICE that they just wound up on Romney's page. They're going to roll their eyes, do the search again and be more diligent.
And Romney will have paid for that click in one way or another. Maybe I'll go do that search a few more times...
Not sponsored (for me). Just showing the opposite in the search results.
However, I guess that shows that even when you're looking for it... you sometimes don't see it, showing why these might be a terrible idea. Or a brilliant idea.