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Thursday, March 04, 2004

Would You Like Some Hypocrisy with your Tea, Good Chap?

So now that Yahoo has made a pay-for-inclusion / pay-per-click deal with the devil (and thus bedeviling all pious, god-fearing marketers everywhere), scrappy search engine Ask Jeeves has upped the ante of righteousness by shedding its PFI program, sacrificing millions in revenue for the search industry's PFI sins.

From CNET: "After much testing of paid inclusion the company found that it can negatively sway search results -- producing more commercial and irrelevant lists of Web sites, [Jim] Lanzone said. Ultimately, that hampers the search experience, he said.

"We're never going to mix church and state again," Lanzone said.


Now, don't get me wrong. I've spoken to Jim, and he's a really great guy. But, this is a bit hypocritical, I think. I don't blame Jeeves for taking advantage of the market timing to make their announcement. But come on! If they were making tons of cash with their PFI program, as Yahoo likely will, do you really think they would dump it?

The only revenue Jeeves has now is the cash they split with Google for partnering on Google's wildly successful AdWords PPC program. Just imagine if Google decides to pull out of Jeeves. Oh, good heavens, no revenue!

Posted by Cory Kleinschmidt




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