About to Provide Paid-Placements Links on Ask Jeeves

Content network About, Inc. Monday said that its sponsored search results will appear in the search results of question-and-answer search engine Ask Jeeves.

Both About and Ask Jeeves offer sponsored links in their search engine returns for content on their own sites or on the Web. Monday’s agreement will add About.com’s sponsored links, which it calls “Sprinks,” in metasearch results for Ask Jeeves.

Advertisers in Sprinks — and in Ask Jeeves’ system — bid “per-click” for placement in search results, paying only when a user clicks on their result. When the Sprinks-Ask Jeeves system goes live later this month, the question-and-answer site will share an undisclosed portion of revenue generated from clicks on Sprinks links.

Further financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

As on both About’s and Ask Jeeves’ sites, paid search results will be clearly indicated as such, said About senior vice president for business operations Eric Bingham.

“This is a chance for us at Sprinks and About to distribute what we think is a very competitive product in the growing pay-for-click category,” Bingham said.

The main value proposition of Sprinks is that sponsored links and search keywords coincide with niche vertical content, presenting users with relevant target content, said Eric Bingham, senior vice president of business operations. According to him, this benefits both searchers and advertisers looking to target consumers.

The deal widens the reach of Sprinks’ advertisers, and expands About’s new presence in a market dominated by established players like GoTo.com and, to a lesser extent, Ask Jeeves.

“Sprinks offers a clear competitive advantage over similar ad purchasing systems in the market,” said About chairman and chief executive officer Scott Kurnit. “By partnering with a top property such as Ask Jeeves, we offer our Sprinks customers the best combination of targeting and reach.”

Proponents of paid-placement search results maintain that the keyword-based results actually generate more accurate returns in response to queries than do algorithmic search engines.

“Sprinks is a compelling offering that enhances the value on Ask.com by offering additional resources for consumers to find answers to their questions,” said Ask Jeeves CEO Rob Wrubel.

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