Ask.com Allows Marketers to Add Sponsored Listings

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 Ask.com introduced version 2.0 of Ask Sponsored Listings with new features for search marketers and partners.

Version 2.0 of Ask Sponsored Listings offers new capabilities meant to simplify the management of marketing campaigns and at the same time improve visibility into campaign performance. Improvements include daily budgeting , variable refill amount , hourly billable data , bulk upload enhancements and dashboard reports.

"The strategy behind this was to directly support the cottage industry that has developed around the paid listing programs of major search engines," said James Speer , v ice president of product and marketing at Ask.com, Oakland, CA.

"To this end we are releasing an open application programming interface that developers can use to enhance the ASL 2.0 platform," Mr. Speer said. "Innovative new products and services are being developed that extend our core platform capabilities."

The first tools give advertisers a means of managing campaigns and bids across various engines from a single console. The API program is available for free.

The API is provided for free to new and existing technology partners , with unlimited access to Unlimited, Free API Access, Support for Industry Standards, Access to Enhanced Data

Open APIs are vital for improving the performance of search engine marketing campaigns.

"The Ask Sponsored Listings API makes adding another high-quality search engine to our search marketing mix very easy," said Nilesh Dherange, chief technology officer of BON Marketing Group Inc. and program beta-user.

"Its ease of use, keyword-level and campaign-level bid options, and particularly real-time reports, make advertising on Ask.com very appealing, and our clients have responded enthusiastically," he said.

This enhancement comes on the heels of the fact that Google will begin charging for AdWords API usage on Nov. 1. Microsoft  and Yahoo are still developing their API programs. Google's changes create demand in the market for an alternative paid listing program with next-generation API support.

The API allows marketers with limited resources and time to add Ask Sponsored Listings to their programs . Increase the pace of ASL product innovation thanks to a network of active API partners.

"There are a lot of great aspects of the program," Mr. Steer said. "The program is available for free to SEM companies and other developers, p rovides near real-time billing information for optimization , easily adds a new distribution outlet to existing search engine marketing campaigns, r eaches an audience that cannot be accessed via Google or Yahoo and allows marketers to receive premium ad placement above the algorithmic search results on Ask.com."

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