Ask Jeeves Takes On Google AdWords

Ask Jeeves on Monday announced “Sponsored Listings,” a program that will work similar to Google AdWords where advertisers will bid for better ad placement on the search engine’s pages. The new ad program will receive premier placement in search results, above Google’s AdWords that the company will continue to display.

It is unclear how Google, a business partner of the company, will react to Ask’s latest move. With advertising, the further up a link is on the page, the more likely it is that it will be clicked. Now underneath Ask’s own ads, Google will bring in less money from the partnership. Ask Jeeves first came online in 1996 and was acquired by InterActiveCorp in March. While AdWords helped the search site stay afloat after the technology bust, it now looks as if the company plans to move away from Google when its contract expires in 2007.

Last year, Ask’s partnership with Google netted the company about $261 million, or about 70 percent of its revenue.

“The growth of search engine advertising is attributed to its unique targeting abilities, high degree of relevance, mass reach for advertisers and strong return on investment, and we look forward to more efficiently providing these benefits to our advertisers through a new automated system,” Paul Gardi, vice president and general manager of IAC Advertising Solutions said in prepared remarks.

The new program is immediately available to current Ask Jeeves advertisers and is slated for general availability on August 15 at the Sponsored Listing Web site.

Ask Jeeves is the sixth largest search site on the Internet with a six percent market share. Google, meanwhile, dominates Web searches with a market share of 36.9 percent.

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