Are we the first to notice this? We didn’t check but nevertheless we feel quite strongly about this and wanted to know what the rest of the world thought about it.
Ask.com the Search Engine that has often been hailed as the one that pioneered a lot of technology but missed the bus when it came to monetization has adopted an interesting approach now.
On Google.co.uk we did a lot of searches and realised that a common factor in the paid search results was the ad for Ask.com!
We were surprised! aside from the fact that they are competitors with Ask even indulging in aggressive advertising against Google’s monopoly what is Ask.com trying to achieve here? is there a cost arbitration reason here? or it just a branding exercise?
We personally loathe clicking on a search result ad to be only taken to another search results page with more ads!
The ads on Google.co.uk are generated dynamically given that the landing page is a search results page, that would be rather obvious.
So what we want to ask (ahem!) is?
Why? Does Ask know that their search results are qualitatively better than Google’s? Would the user switch search engines once he is convinced that Ask is a better search engine (assuming that were to be true) and gives more relevant results? Is this a desperate attempt at shoring up market share? or like their earlier print advertisement a sneaky way of getting at “sleep searchers” ?
What about the advertisers on Ask.com?, by way of their famous deal inked sometime back, Ask uses Google’s text ad platform which means the advertisers on Ask.com are using Google Adwords. Confused? Seems like a maze doesn’t it?
The ads on Google seem to be relevant and we suppose it goes through all the rigorous quality score check and all that jazz, but what about the ads on Ask .com? To us they seemed rather irrelevant. So is Google to blame here then? or is it Ask?
Somebody has to ask these questions?