ComScore ranked IAC’s Ask.com as the fourth most-queried search engine in October. But a new post from Danny Sullivan’s Search Engine Land reveals that IAC’s (IACI) “search engine” gets much of its traffic buying ads on Google that direct clickers to straight to Ask search results pages — covered in more ads.
Concludes Danny, “It’s just a further sign to me that the future of Ask isn’t about building an audience but instead earning as much off the remaining traffic it has left.”
UPDATE: Ask.com’s Nicholas Graham says this ad’s particularly misleading copy was a isolated incident. The practice of buying Google ads that direct to Ask search results pages continues, however.
Take a look at this search for new hampshire hotels:
See the ad? It promises that you can “Book here & Save A Massive 50%” with the site listed being New-Hampshire.Hotels.Ask.com.
Click on the ad, and you get this: