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How come I am getting more hits than the SERP you mention?
Very simple. Your pet serp probably doesn't have 10 or 6 or 3 or even perhaps no Adwords ads above it. The serp I am referring to has always had a full complement of ads, which essentially made a #1 rank #13.
Recently Ask has switched to "only" 3 ads, plus their in-house CPM ads, so I suppose that explains the "burst" of traffic from Ask - I've jumped up 3-6 slots.
>Recently Ask has switched to "only" 3 ads, plus their in-house CPM ads, so I suppose that explains the "burst" of traffic from Ask - I've jumped up 3-6 slots.
Bingo. I think that is the answer. In the case of all the SERPs I mention they are non-commercial. As in 95%+ of anyone using these search terms would want to buy this from an Internet seller. Even though almost all these SERPs have 3 Adwords ads at the top, pretty much every surfer will ignore them as irrelevant and look down to the natural SERPs. Thus I always have got good ask.com traffic, and nothing has changed recently in terms of ads at the top.
But they did say that it might take some time for you to get on their site. But one thing they did mention that helps Web Sites to get on their site, is a robots.txt file, which I went ahead and added to my site, but it could take up to 6 months to get on their search engine they said.