Ask Jeeves Stopping Paid Search Listings?
More rumors and scandal in the Search Engine Marketing world, as Ask Jeeves cuts back on its paid listings in UK, leading to rumor of dropping the program. Nick at Threadwatch started quite a Ask Jeeves hoopla with his post on ASK Axing their PPC service; “A reliable source informs me that ASK have made all of their ad sales team redundant today, at least in the UK, and wil not be continuing with their own PPC program as previously planned. They’ll be continuing with Google Adwords.”
Patrick Crisp at Ask Jeeves, however, responded (to Barry) to the contrary that they are not discontinuing their paid search engine marketing program, only cutting back on the amount of sponsored listings served above organic results:
Like we did on Ask.com to improve the search experience, we are reducing the number of ads above our organic search results on the Ask.co.uk site. On Ask.co.uk, we are eliminating our Branded Response and the Answer Link products, showing only PPC listings as we do on Ask.com. Similar moves in the U.S. have resulted in an all-time high retention rate. As it does today, Ask.co.uk will continue to show Google Listings.
Ask Jeeves Sponsored Listings PPC product is going very well in the U.S., and we are focused on continuing to grow AJSL here before we expand internationally. While we believe the reduction in ad products will be great for our users, it has impacted our direct sales force only in the United Kingdom. We believe this will make Ask.co.uk an even stronger platform for advertisers to reach customers.
Sounds like a strange rumor, especially since Ask Jeeves launched their own paid search program back in August. Perhaps they are just scaling back in the UK. Ben at SERoundtable shares his thoughts:
So why would Ask want to discontinue there PPC program? One answer comes to mind, they are not discontinuing it in the US, but only in the UK. The other thought is that advertisers are not willing to pay a premium to be listed on Ask. Buying direct isn’t all that it’s crack up to be for advertisers possibly. I admit I have enjoyed testing out the program from the beginning but slowly got discouraged as CPC rates rose from affordable levels to those consistent with hyper competitive keywords in Google Adwords. I have scaled back my own campaign as it was no longer a good deal. Conversions were near or at levels from what I saw with Adwords. So why pay more when I could get an all in one solution buy using Adwords?