• http://twitter.com/stealherstyle_ Steal Her Style

    Google cares way more about itself than they do about the user. If a user does a search, clicks on an ask.com ad, and then clicks an ad on Ask, Google gets paid for two ad clicks.

    Besides, virtually all content websites are supported by ads. If Google wants any ads for informational searches, they have to allow sites with above the fold ads.

  • http://twitter.com/incrediblehelp Jaan Kanellis

    What a terrible search experience. Wait… Isn’t that what Google is always worried about? Why don’t they index search result pages anymore in the organic results?

  • http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    Technically Google does not index Ask’s search results. They are Google-powered search results anyway.

  • http://www.facebook.com/doug.leeds Doug Leeds

    Hey Pamela, Doug from Ask.com here. As I mentioned when we spoke, Ask
    is investing heavily in our product and brand in order to provide users
    with answers to their questions, backed up by some the best content on the
    web (such as the articles and expert content we just acquired at About.com).
    We’re proud of the content on our pages, which you can see pretty clearly
    contain much more than just ads.

    We get traffic to Ask.com from many sources — online and off — and
    Google is just one part of our strategy.  We are consistently collecting
    feedback from users who come to Ask via search advertising on Google, and
    the data shows that our experience is good compared to other advertisers
    on the page. For example, our advertisements on Google generate 200%
    higher retention, 33% higher time on site, and excellent customer
    satisfaction scores as compared against our competitors. You don’t get
    those results by just sending people to pages with ads – we get them by
    making good on the promise of delivering answers.  We don’t do everything
    perfectly however, and I’m definitely all ears in terms of how we can
    continue to do things better.

  • Johan

    Ask.com is useless anyway, who would want to go there ?

  • Johan

    I have the exact same stats on all my sites, adwords traffic is just better quality, that’s all. That doesn’t mean your site is the perfect answer to their query. I had once a crap site, a MFA. I bought adwords before the arbitrage rule went on. Believe me, my site was total crap. I made a lot of sales and adwords traffic was generating a lot of sales compared to normal organic traffic. I was buying for 10K USD/month in adwords. Your answer is a nosense for anyone who understand this market.

  • http://ftc.gov/ MonopolizedSearch

    This is another example of the subjective application of Google’s own policies. It’s really no different then Google giving preference to its own businesses/services in organic search. If there is a buck to be made, Google will bend their policies to get as much of that buck as they can.

  • Pat Grady

    “How’s Ask making money off of that?
    One answer is…”
    I’ve got another possible answer to consider. Land on Ask, arbitrage G ads, obvious – but that math doesn’t work for me – rev share makes it very unlikely. Other monetizaton efforts would be needed. Landing also allows cookie setting, for known searches. Retargeting crowd pays dearly for user data, and it’s for sale in exchanges and elsewhere. Not an accusation, I’d need proof for that, and good luck on that front, anonymizing (to the public) the data would make it impossible to uncover from here. Everyone knows Ask, the 2nd level click fraud needed to make the arbitrage math work, G would catch that in a NY minute – so am guessing, it’d have to run much deeper than that.

  • http://trucklicense.net/get-cdl Freedom Jackson

    Cheat to win the wall street guide to being successful.

    Its sad to see this mentality come from google. One question I have is who determines how much of your adsense revenue you get to keep?

    I have noticed a “google” tax on adsense earnings have you?

    Lets say you earn $100 they always pay you $100 – “the google tax” = Your net earnings.

  • Giacomo Pelagatti

    Mr. Leeds, I would be curious to know what percentage of queries on Ask.com are triggered by ads. I’m asking this because I myself can’t recall the last time I actually typed a search on Ask.com.

  • http://www.facebook.com/patrick.kompf.9 Patrick Kompf

    Doug, are you afraid this investigation will find further flaws in your adwords strategy? This thing could blow up big time. This is in violation of google policy and you know it. You can lace your big words and type responses like your sitting before the wall street congressional panel. “No” “Yes” No, we didn’t take money. Ask.com is not a product. It leaches clicks off other search engines to generate revenue. Without forwarded traffic – there is no ask.com revenue.

  • Kent Riddersholm Nielsen

    Now, I know I may be speculating here, but… First off, I can see Ask’s motivation for showing ads in Google, as they get important low priced trafic which helps sell their generel product to advertisers (I also find it interesting to read Doug Leeds’ answer in the comment section). The question is what is Google’s motivation to allow this controversial game? I see one thing that isn’t mentioned here, and will point to Aaron Walls post, which basically implies, that you practically never get to pay minimum click-price even though there is no competition. I can see the controversy here. In auctions, there is a term known as “puffing”, which is illegal by the way. That’s when you hire someone to raise to price. In my opinion, there is a close resemblance to Google and Ask’s relationship. Especially with this shady, we’re partners / we’re not partners theme the last couple of years. It looks pretty shady in my eyes.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Google’s motivation is probably not to crack down on Ask because it makes a lot of money off Ask carrying its ads that often lead to pages that also carry Google’s ads.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=76300871 Jon Krueger

    So after much Research, I’ve discovered that its from ask.com that My Search Partners portion of my Adwords account is getting worthless clicks that don’t convert. However, I get enough conversions from Ask that I don’t want to cut it out completely and other Search Partners like Aol.com convert quite well for me. Does ANYONE have any ideas how I can isolate Ask.com (or search partners) and manage them differently than Google. I know i can bid only for Google.com. But i want to be able to also bid only for Search Partners, which Adwords does not allow. Thoughts???