For a while now, I've been noticing a referrer in my logs from a search on Ask.com for [Search better now], which has been sending visitors to an old post of mine. It's been nothing more than a passing curiosity for me, until today. Today, I came across an Ask ad. See below.
Ah-ha! So THAT'S why so many people are searching for that phrase. Ok, so I headed over to see what results Ask is giving for that. Yes, there I am, in the #2 position for that search. And oh my goodness, the results for that search across the board couldn't POSSIBLY be what Ask is wanting to show off.
I couldn't take a screenshot of the whole page, and then scrunch it down enough to make it legible, so I've pulled out sections of the page to highlight one at a time. Here they are.
So that's the actual organic results (top 3, although the rest are just as bad). Sure, I'm right there in the #2 spot, but that doesn't mean I'm necessarily happy with those results. Is Ask? Why are they asking people to go see these particular results? What makes them "better"? Ok, maybe it's not the results that are better. Maybe it's something else on the page. Let's look and see, shall we?
Those are the sponsored ads that appear just above the search results. An ad for a Windows registry fix, an ad allowing us all to "hook up" tonight, and one to find people. Hmmm.... Ok, let's move on. Maybe the Expand Your Search section has better information.
Uh-oh. I'm seeing a pattern here of NOT getting good results. Here, we've got Island Vacations, Hybrid Cars, Chili Recipes, Cayman Islands, and How Do Hybrid Cars Work? Oh man, not good. So, let's look at the last bit of this page.
I just don't know what to say. Granted, I'm not sure what results WOULD have made a good search for this phrase. But WHY, in the name of all that is sacred to marketing, would anyone pay for an ad campaign like this? What possible good can come from this? How do these results reflect the fact that Ask leads to "better search". If I had never used Ask before, and got there from this ad campaign, I'd be scratching my head in bewilderment.
THIS is better search? Ask, you are better than this. Show off what is better, not what is worse. That's just common sense.
And most importantly, what is Ask thinking by keeping their ad campaign managers around? FIRE THEM. NOW!