Ask Sponsored Listings Stops Sending Referrer Data

Mar 16, 2010 • 8:09 am | comments (3) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under - Ask Jeeves

Ask Sponsored Listings recently launched a new platform which is managed by what they called Pureleads. Ask advertisers have been receiving emails about the change in the past week or so.

One savvy advertiser, Jerry Nordstrom, posted a thread at Search Engine Watch Forums, digging into the changes. The most significant change is that Ask will stop sending referrer data from clicks on their ads. That means, you really won't know where your clicks are coming from, when advertising on the Ask network.

The Pureleads FAQ explains:

Pureleads is our new proprietary technology that blends advanced click purification methods and automated campaign traffic management. The Pureleads system protects your campaign from unpredictable delivery spikes, automated click traffic and suspect traffic sources. The result is a powerful technology that improves campaign ROI, overall click to conversion metrics and reduces the time required to manage your campaign.

Just great, sounds wonderful, right? Read on...

With PureLeads, all clicks from our network are first sent to "" for evaluation (multiple traffic quality tests). As a result of our servers intercepting the clicks your web server logs now will register "" as the source of all ASL clicks.

So if a click comes from a different domain, it will appear as coming from How great is that?

Jerry Nordstrom feels it has to do with Ask's inability to filter out click fraud. Jerry said:

We have not had the same ability to stop click fraud as Google and MSN and have been charging our advertisers for it for years. People were getting mad and could see the fraud from the sites in their referral reports. So now with Pureleads we're going to claim click fraud filtering and hide all referring traffic information from our advertisers.

Nice move Ask!

Forum discussion at Search Engine Watch Forums.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: March 15, 2010



03/18/2010 10:36 pm

After reading your post we’d like to share our perspective on the rationale for the PureLeads technology and process. Our customers have asked us for a new approach – one that entails more “hands-off” monitoring of traffic, coupled with an overall reduction in day-to-day campaign maintenance time. Why? Google and Yahoo! require extensive time commitments from advertisers to maintain ongoing performance. Our customers like diversifying their SEM budget with ASL, but want an easier and more efficient process. We talked with our customers and conducted surveys in advance of the PureLeads launch. Almost uniformly, they told us they seek a consistent level of performance and incremental quality click volume with a minimal time commitment. When combined with ASL’s unique conversion tracking features PureLeads delivers better results with less effort. Ultimately, PureLeads will be measured against the results delivered - solid return on investment and a reduced time commitment. We’ve set up a special website to explain the technology further and share results from beta program participants: Thank you for your time, James Speer and the ASL Team

Matt L

08/04/2010 06:51 pm

Is controlling click quality mutually exclusive with passing referrer data? Why not have the ability for a check and balance from the advertiser side? All these clients you talked to didn't say "don't give us the opportunity to check up on it". They asked you to do better. Btw - noticed on the login page Ask is closing Sept. 30th - does that mean pureleads wasn't quite the success it hoped to be, or did Ask just get a better deal from Google, Bing or another ad provider?


12/04/2011 03:36 pm

As far as I can see Pure Leads is stealing me blind. All they send is garabage clicks to my site and kill my adwords budget.  They have been eating up to half my adwords budget. I have put them in as an exclussion and they have found way to work around that. Now i have had to cut off all search partners to get anything at all to keep this @@3434 from bleeding my budget. They are harming my busines and I intend to report them to any agency I can for click fraud!!! Just leave me the ##@@## alone and keep off my account!!!

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