Prospect of Search Ads on P2P Site Rattle SEMs

  |  May 25, 2005   |  Comments

Some agencies would rather not see their clients' ads appear on a file-sharing search results page, while others see it as purely a distribution deal.

Revelations that controversial file-sharing software developer BitTorrent will begin to host ads from Ask Jeeves alongside its upcoming search engine have drawn mixed results from SEMs.

BitTorrent announced Monday that it is planning to launch a search engine to index the thousands of movies, music, video games and other files currently shared using the company's peer-to-peer software. Alongside search results, the company will show keyword-targeted text ads from Ask Jeeves.

"BitTorrent is positioned to be the next embodiment of the peer-to-peer debate. First it was Napster, then Kazaa, and now BitTorrent," said David Berkowitz, director of marketing with search marketing firm icrossing. "This is where brand managers are going to start taking the search engines to task, asking them for options to limit where their ad appears."

The software allows users to find and download files hosted on the hard drives of other users, or dedicated hosts. Sites that track and index copyrighted BitTorrent files have been under attack by lawsuits filed by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

While some marketers may be concerned to have their brands associated with such controversy, others see the addition of BitTorrent's search engine to the Ask Jeeves ad network as a positive development.

"In the short term, we're looking at this as an increase in distribution," said Peter Hershberg, managing partner of Reprise Media. Hershberg and several other members of the Reprise team are Ask Jeeves alumni. "Given the nature of BitTorrent's business, we'll be keeping an eye on this, as I'm sure everyone else will be as well."

Berkowitz agreed that the BitTorrent site itself can provide a good opportunity for advertisers to extend their reach, but stressed that search engines like Ask Jeeves need to provide wary advertisers with the option to keep their ads from appearing on such sites if they are concerned about the implications for their brands.

"BitTorrent is part of the Ask Jeeves syndication network -- we provide them with Web search and sponsored links. At this time, we don't see this as having implications for our advertisers, nor do we have any special arrangements in place with regard to our relationship with BitTorrent," said an Ask Jeeves spokesperson.

BitTorrent does not promote the use of its software for illegal downloading. It positions itself as an enabler of self-publishing that helps content creators reach a mass audience through low-cost digital distribution.

"BitTorrent enjoys tremendous street credibility because it empowers the individual to express himself on the Web in ways that were too costly before," said Ashwin Navin, co-founder and chief operating officer of BitTorrent. "Both publishers and progressive marketers are thrilled to be associated with our brand."

ClickZ Live New York What's New for 2015?
You spoke, we listened! ClickZ Live New York (Mar 30-Apr 1) is back with a brand new streamlined agenda. Don't miss the latest digital marketing tips, tricks and tools that will make you re-think your strategy and revolutionize your marketing campaigns. Super Saver Rates are available now. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kevin Newcomb

Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.

Before the bubble burst, Kevin was a marketing manager for an online computer reseller, handling copywriting, e-mail marketing, search marketing and running the affiliate program.

With a combination of real-world marketing experience and years of business journalism, Kevin brings to ClickZ a unique ability to deliver news and training materials that help online marketers do their jobs better.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

UPCOMING TRAINING

Featured White Papers

Google My Business Listings Demystified

Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line
82 percent of shoppers say they would buy more items from a brand if the emails they sent were more personalized. This white paper offer five tactics that will personalize your email beyond the subject line and drive real business growth.

WEBINARS

Resources

Jobs

    • Customer Service Consultant
      Customer Service Consultant (Bonner and Partners) - Delray BeachBonner & Partners: Full-time Customer Service Consultant Position Who we are...
    • Financial Editor
      Financial Editor (Confidential) - DurhamSIX FIGURE EDITORS WANTED: To enforce lofty NEW editing standards. Easy Conditions Unlikely. Promotion and...
    • Information Processing Specialist
      Information Processing Specialist (Agora Inc. ) - BaltimoreInformation Processing Specialist – The IP specialist position ensures the successful...