Ask.com Markets on Google to Lure Visitors to its Own Search Engine

Apr 6, 2007 • 11:00 am | comments (2) by twitter | Filed Under Ask.com - Ask Jeeves
 

A Cre8asite Forums member references a Google Groups thread that suspects that Ask.com is trying to promote its search engine by running AdWords campaigns on Google for a user's own business.

On Cre8asite, the member says:

Ask.com is paying "partners" for visitors that click on a tagged link to a search query - I don't know about you, but that's just asking for abuse (link-spam bonanza)...

The Google Groups member is not at all too happy that his business searches are being subverted by Ask.com:

www.Ask.com are using our company name on www.Google.com in an ad that directs to www.Ask.com. When this ad is clicked on, it goes to the www.Ask.com search engine where searches for the keyword 'silverstall' appear. The adword was evidently taken out by their affiliate marketing company which is behind the recent 'information revolution' corporate advertising masquerading as a social movement. In our area it has totally backfired with the local students union, who witnessed yesterdays fracas, warning students not to use 'ask'. We have warned Ask that we will publish the security videos of yesterdays harrassment on the net and i've a feeling that we will be left alone from now on.

Another user echoes this sentiment:

I read how a cafe window was kicked in when they refused to allow Ask.com posters being handed out so you are not alone Silverstall in experiencing the atrocious behavior of a campaign that is going down as one of the biggest marketing blunders of the year.

Danny wrote in just a few days ago on Search Engine Land about the Wall Street Journal coverage of this campaign. The end result seems pretty negative, with one user feeling that an "inferior search engine" is misleading the masses.

We've seen Ask.com advertise on Google many times. Are the aggressive marketing campaigns of Ask.com in the UK ethical? Forum discussion continues at Cre8asite Forums and Google Groups.

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Comments:

Andrew Goodman

04/08/2007 02:54 pm

It could also turn out to be a form of arbitrage, so isn't likely to maintain long term traction on Google.

No Name

09/22/2008 04:08 am

heck if they want to advertise on google so be it. google makes money everytime someone clicks on a ad. even if it tricks you they make money this is not hurting google at all. these people that go to ask for whatever reason from a ad stll have google as homepage. the majority of all searches are already on google. i use ask just because i'm afraid of google being only choice one day. even yahoo is prolly going to outsource all search to google very soon.

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