Ask.com No Longer Shy About Google Ads

Sep 4, 2008 • 8:05 am | comments (7) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Ask.com - Ask Jeeves
 

Back in February, I spotted how Ask.com was showing up to five Google search ads above the organic search results. It only happened when using Internet Explorer on a PC, because (I guess here) the Ask.com team didn't want to upset the early adopters who use Firefox and Safari or a Mac.

Well, it now seems Ask.com is no longer shy or embarrassed about showing these ads. A search for mp3 players at Ask.com on any browser will show five Google search ads at the top of the organic results. Here is a picture:

Ask Adds

Yes, it is even hard to distinguish between the background color of the ads and the organic results.

Back in mid-2005, Ask promised us to reduce the search ads in order to focus on relevancy and a better search experience. But that seemed to have gone out the window with Ask.com new Diller strategy.

It just seems to me that Ask.com is going backwards. Remember, back in December 2004, I asked Michael Palka in the Meet the Crawlers session at SES:

Q: I asked Ask Jeeves why they bury the Teoma results way under the Google AdWords results at Ask Jeeves?

A: Michael answered that is was not about not being more relevant, they feel Teoma is more relevant than AdWords. But it is set up that way from a monetization standspoint only. Fair answer.

Seems like we are back in 2004. Sad but true.

Forum discussion at Search Engine Watch Forums.

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Comments:

W00TSter

09/04/2008 03:34 pm

Funny. I get a "Smart Answer" (Ask's onebox results) above sponsored listings. Did you leave that out of your screen shot or did you not see one? The results quality seems pretty comparable to me on my Mac. Btw, Google has 12 ads on their SERP from my count. Looks like everybody needs to get paid somehow for providing free services.

Barry Schwartz

09/04/2008 03:56 pm

Yea, I left it out. I needed to be able to fit a concise picture on this page. So the only way to do that and also show an organic result was to remove the smart answer. Annoying.

sem4u

09/04/2008 04:10 pm

It is a bit sad that they have gone back to displaying too many (IMO) PPC ads before their natural results. Too bad...they must need the money.

Ben Pfeiffer

09/04/2008 06:33 pm

This is pretty tragic for this search engine with all work that went into it. Looks like they are milking her for all she is worth.

Randall Gniadecki

09/04/2008 07:19 pm

I met with an Ask representative a few weeks ago and this is how he explained the ads and search results to me: "First come the Ask sponsored ads at the top. Then the Organic results, then ads placed by Google AdWords. So listing directly through Ask gives advertisers a better listing placement...unless they have no Ask ads for the search term, in which case the Google ads go on top." Re: Barry "So the only way to do that and also show an organic result was to remove the smart answer." That was a very deceptive picture Barry, and you should add a larger picture of the entire window to the end of the post to clarify.

No Name

10/07/2008 02:02 pm

Why would you use Ask anyway?

Thasariya Shakil

02/12/2012 02:42 pm

Yes Ask search results and Ads color are same. Difficult to identify search results.

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