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Ask Jeeves has launched redcross.ask.com, a special version of the company's flagship search site Ask Jeeves (Ask.com), to offer people an easy way to help the Red Cross.
Ask Jeeves will donate 100 percent of the profits generated from searches conducted on this site with a minimum donation of $50,000 and a maximum donation of $1 million.
If you searched for Mesothelioma and then clicked on some of the "Sponsored Links" Ask Jeeves would donate approx. $50 per site clicked.
Christopher, the simple fact that Adwords (who feeds AskJeeves ads) is billing me AFTER the click means that AskJeeves is intentionally encouraging people to MAKE ME donate to the red cross.
And NO, not with money they have already collected from me but by simply charging my credit card AFTER they have generated fraudulent clicks.
Short of making a charge back, the only option I have is to pause my Adwords account (which I did) to limit casualties.
Geez, this is exactly the kind of thing that backfires on the reputation of ANY PPC advertising.
How about changing the term of PPC to CFF (Click For Fraud) PTRs (pay to read) are bad enough but this path is bringing PPC down the banner way.
Makes you wonder if AskJeeves has its own team of clickers...
Advertisers will simply pull out of PPC...
Relax guys, they're not donating your advertising CLICKS, they're donating their own money on a per search basis.
|with a minimum donation of $0.03 per advertisement-generating search |
So, nobody actually has to click on an ad to get ask to donate money, they just have to make a search. Nor do Ask "ask" you to click on ads, or even mention ads.
|maximum total of $1,000,000 [...]minimum donation [...] of $50,000. |
Nowhere on that page does it say that you need to click on an ad, it just states that you should use that page to search from. Blank your mind of this conversation and try it, you'll notice that there is NO INCENTIVE to click on an ad.
And I admit, if they were donatining a portion of their ad revenue, encouraging people to click, that would be one of the most unethical acts of the year. However, they're not. (Although they are getting more people to use their SE. However, that's the point of any corporate charity sponsorship, it's free advertising).
Typo edit! :(
I understand the difference between what ASK is doing and a more direct incentive to click. But its still clear they are offering two incentives 1) they are only paying if the page is an advertisement generated page, which engouages people to search for things they may not otherwise have been intending to search for and 2)the amount is clearly variable (ie minimum 3 cents) and ASK says:
"ASK JEEVES will donate all its profits from searches conducted"
Its clear that the way to increase the 3 cents is to click on ads.
|"ASK JEEVES will donate all its profits from searches conducted" |
and of course, if they don't happen to show a profit, no money gets donated.
now if they said they will donate from "gross" revenues that would be different.
Red Cross has enough money, they are just a bloated non-profit corp that occassionally spends money on helping people. Have you ever seen what their payroll is for their top administrators?
What happened to all the money they raised from 9/11? Take a guess.
If you want to give money to a charity that actually helps people, give it to the one that is always first on the scene and doesn't turn it into a PR opportunity: The Salvation Army.
/steps off soapbox....
I think it's good that theyre giving the money away, but theyre really encouraging false clicks the way they are going about it.
Why not just announce that theyre giving away a percentage of their total income? Instead theyve put up a seperate click to donate site.
Im sure their click through rate is way up compared to what their usual site is. I know my little site's click through rate more than quadrupled when I announced on my "about us" page that all earnings are given away. I still give the earnings away but I wont be announcing it anymore and risking the income of my other sites.
But that's the point - nowhere does it tell their users to "click", or even "advertising". All they've done is put up a page, and said "use this page, and we'll give money to the RC".
|Nowhere on that page does it say that you need to click on an ad, it just states that you should use that page to search from. Blank your mind of this conversation and try it, you'll notice that there is NO INCENTIVE to click on an ad. |
This is my theory on how this is running.:
(a) they can do it legally because it's done on a per-search, not per-click basis
(b) they make it vague enough so that people think you have to click to donate
(c) they reap big rewards without getting in legal trouble
It's a jerk move, if my theory is correct, and at best very poorly thought out if my theory isn't. It's clear that advertisers, who scrutinize the terms more than anyone, are confused -- how do you think regular users will react?
<addendum>Let me also take this opportunity to mention that, as a person who just used it for the first time in a couple years, AskJeeves really sucks as a search engine.</addendum>
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