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Ask Jeeves Removes All Banner Ads for 2003

 3:50 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Full-Text of Announcement [irconnect.com]

Key Section
[Ask Jeeves]Today announced the removal of all banner advertisements from Ask Jeeves (Ask.com), the Web's second most popular search engine. This move reflects the company's continuing commitment to delivering a highly targeted environment for its clients and a user-friendly search experience for consumers. Ask Jeeves also recently eliminated interstitials, commonly known as pop-up advertisements, from its suite of advertising products."

In 2003, Ask Jeeves will focus on its core offerings including Branded Response and Premier Listings. These advertising units provide marketers a way to deliver their branding and text-based advertising to consumers within a relevant search environment. Branded Response helps marketers reach a highly targeted audience on Ask Jeeves' results page while generating brand awareness through use of graphics and images."



 3:58 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm a little surprised that a public company would eliminate the revenue from banner and pop-up ads. I will be very curious to see how the stock does in the coming months.
Does anyone see how this can help them?


 4:01 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Its the second paragraph that i find interesting. Reading through the article on AJ News, i thought how are they planning to make money if they are dropping pop-ups and banners, then it struck me.

By introducing their own form of the adwords program, and sponsored text listings, very reminiscent of another well known search engine.

Web's second most popular search engine
what a very interesting comment.


 4:05 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Web's second most popular search engine<<

I too was a little surprised by this statement. According to Alexa results, they rank #76!


 4:11 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

"By introducing their own form of the adwords program, and sponsored text listings, very reminiscent of another well known search engine."

They already have this. This is how sites get to be the default choice under the "Questions I can answer for you..." dropdowns, right at the top of the search results. You can also pay less and be in the drop down box (or you can be selected by one of their editors). This is the way it is on ask.co.uk- I don't know about .com.


 4:32 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

> Questions I can answer for you...

Do you think that is what the article means?

I took it that it would be brand term big bold letters across the top of the SERPs, rather than a link off the SERP page to Jeeves [questions i can answer for you]. I can't see a 25% conversion rate doing it that way.


 4:42 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I just looked at ask.com and things are a bit different there- the bit all the way at the bottom with the drop downs is actually at the top of the page on .co.uk- they yield great clickthrough rates and convertion rates but nothing like 25% clickthrough. Perhaps they had one campaign which yielded 25% for one day and they use this as a sort of "lead-in" and for PR purposes.

I don't think this will follow in UK yet- we've got banners on ask.co.uk and they haven't informed us (yet).


 5:06 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think they see how google is doing in everyones eyes without popups so if they can pull more of the web surfers and grab the attention of them it may work out. Then of course introduce PPC and banners (later down the line) :D


 6:46 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Still too messy. How slow is the learning curve of these big corporations?


 6:53 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Clearly Google has changed the expectations of people who use search sites - and maybe even portal sites.

There is no reason why bigger ads should attract higher fees. It's all relative. If the size of ads as a whole on the internet reduced to one quarter of their size, publishers could still make the same amount of money. They would just charge more for each "column screen inch", ads would have just as much impact becuase there is less to compete with.. and everybody would be happy.. well... most people anyway..

I think Google may just have started the trend.


 7:34 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ask have a cunning plan up their sleeves - it's called credibility!


 7:50 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)


I agree they are trying to have some credibility, but they also need to show a profit to the shareholders. They already have adwords and sponsored listings so they are generating revenue from this. But with the loss of banner ads and pop-ups the are losing an x amount. How do you tell this to shareholders?


 8:05 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I would imagine that if they establish credability and can wrangle a peice of google searchers, more would be inclined to utilize ask's adwords type of program. This is a longterm decision IMO... a bit of a gamble, but with teoma's index and a cleaner more Googlesgue image, it could pay huge dividends in the future.


 8:25 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

We may all want to think deeper about this Ask.com Google no pop-up and banner thing.

There may be more that meets the eye to this that we may all hear about soon.

Maybe another merger or such?

Hollywood - An X AG Edwards & Sons Securities Research Guru


 8:33 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Web's second most popular search engine
>>>>what a very interesting comment.

What it also means is that Google's dominance is so much that even they(Ask) can't go further in their claims other then saying second. Or else we'd have seen mentioned it as "web's MOST popular search engine" :)


 11:06 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

>I too was a little surprised by this statement. According to Alexa results, they rank #76!

Please name the 75 more popular search engines than ask.com? Dunno if my logs are representative, but it looks to me like Google/Yahoo/AOL #1, msn.com #2, and ask.com #3.


 1:23 am on Jan 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm not very surprised... they're just the latest to join a growing list of engines that have learned annoying users is not the best way to success: Google, then Metacrawler, then Myway, then Hotbot, now Ask.


 3:10 am on Jan 7, 2003 (gmt 0)


I should have clarified that they rank #76 for overall traffic and looking at the list they are probably the 7 or 8th biggest for US searches (rank behind AV, Excite,IWON, and Lycos as well as the typical)


 3:59 am on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

I always wonder how can Ask still be among us.

I gave them several tries, but I was never able to find what I need with their obnoxious answers.

I think taking out banners and popups will do no good if they don't manage to deliver correct answers to their visitors.


 8:55 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

edit_g was correct in stating:
"I don't think this will follow in UK..."

According to an article in Revolution today:

"Ask Jeeves UK has said it has no plans to follow the decision taken by its US counterpart to drop banner advertising."


 11:10 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

To confirm the above see NetImeprative -


UK Ask keeping banners to fit the UK advertising market.

So expect them to go later in 2003 as the UK follows the US trend. Fine with me!

To add to that - quote:

"Later this month it will upgrade its pay-for-performance portfolio by unveiling a paid inclusion programme, which has been in development for three months."

PFI like Teoma but UK focused I guess...


 2:21 am on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

they are #76 on Alexa and they want 30 bucks to list sites? They should be paying us! haha

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