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