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Old 09-03-2008   #1
bpfrank
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Question Is Ask.com becoming a PPC only Search Engine?

I have to admit I don't often use Ask.
It's been a while since I've searched for something on it.

I searched on Ask today, primarily because I've heard about their "askkids" search engine and wanted to see what it features. Found out this was very interesting, I still think they should remove PPC when it comes to kids but that's another problem.

I then, went on the regular Ask site, searched for a very general keyword such as "flowers" and I was very surprised to see that I had to scroll down a huge list of Advertisement to find regular listing.

Seriously, the search result was like 85% PPC and 15% organic.

Is Ask.com fighting bankruptcy? I just find this to be very strange from them to do such a thing.

More, There seems to not be as many features integrated into the search result that made, in the past, Ask so unique....

Thoughts?

Last edited by bpfrank : 09-03-2008 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 09-03-2008   #2
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Re: Is Ask.com becoming a PPC only Search Engine?

It really is starting to look bad, isn't it? Back when Barry Diller's IAC acquired it some years ago there was really quite a bit of hope that he and his team would figure out some effective ways of monetizing it besides going the (what I call) "Alta-Vista Syndrome" route.

Unfortunatley, even with all the great net properties that were once under one roof, nothing ever panned out. No, or little, integration, no synergy. So yeah, it went the way of Alta Vista and now plasters PPC all over the SERPs.
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Old 09-04-2008   #3
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Re: Is Ask.com becoming a PPC only Search Engine?

I think a lot of organisations are looking to capitalise in the high profits that can be made from paid search. This problem is a highly visible when it comes to paid search syndication.

In the UK, Ask PPC results are provided by Google. They tend to feature five google results above the organic listing and four below. They also occasionally have onebox equivalent results above the paid listings. This pushes the organic listings almost below the fold of a standard screen size.

Other organisations are pusing things a bit harder. Take ISP Virgin Media for example. They show 12 paid listings before an organic listing is even seen.

It is important to consider paid search syndication when evaluating the success of paid and natural strategies. For example, you could have the best rankings in the world but if the majorityof your target market uses Virgin Media as their main method of searching the web, you have to compete in the paid market as well in order to gain the desired volume of clickthroughs.
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Old 09-09-2008   #4
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Re: Is Ask.com becoming a PPC only Search Engine?

I don't know what Ask is trying to do, but they're doing it wrong. My company meets its daily cap limit every single day - which until a few weeks ago had never happened.

-BEC
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Old 09-09-2008   #5
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Post Re: Is Ask.com becoming a PPC only Search Engine?

Thanks all for your replies on this.

Looking at ask.com today, it seems that they are back up to their normal page results... and the unique features are back on..

If only they could bring Jeeves back, it would be top!
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