Ask Jeeves and 24/7 Launch Fee-Based Service

Ask Jeeves has joined forces with 24/7 Real Media’s search engine marketing division to launch a paid inclusion service called Index Express.

Index Express, which has been positioned as an Ask Jeeves service, will match search queries from users “to the highly relevant deep content on an advertiser’s Web site,” according to Doug Wagner, president of 24/7 Website Results.

Wagner told the E-Commerce Times that because specific phrases yield a higher number of conversions than more general keyword phrases, 24/7 Website Results focuses on getting as specific as possible.

“It is labor intensive. Where we might ordinarily create 2,000 to 3,000 general phrases [to get more specific], we might have to create 400,000 phrases,” he said.

Target Market

Index Express’ target market is companies with large content or commerce initiatives that want to increase site traffic and exert control over the frequency of Web page updates.

Mark Naples, director of marketing at 24/7 Real Media, told the E-Commerce Times that his company has seen impressive growth — 135 percent in the first quarter — “because of the precision of delivery.”

The two companies said they designed Index Express to work with an enterprise’s internal technology, making it easier for enterprises to implement and use the service.

Results Pay Off

With the service, each time a user accesses one of a client’s pages via Ask Jeeves or Teoma, the client is charged a fee. Because the fee schedule is use-based, customers only pay for results, Naples said. “And when they see the results, they’re not balking at all,” he added.

Companies that sign up for the service will be included in Teoma’s search index, the force powering both Ask Jeeves and However, Index Express does not guarantee clients a particular placement on either Ask Jeeves or Those search engines’ results are determined by advanced algorithms employed by Teoma, which are used to weigh and rank sites.

Indeed, the concept of Index Express is “not just getting advertisers or companies’ sites listed higher, but rather getting the right query to the right” place and the right information, Naples said.

Shifting Landscape

The search engine market is a highly competitive one with an ever-changing landscape. For example, once-fledgling Google has gained ground over Excite, Yahoo, AltaVista and Ask Jeeves. And although the search engine industry is still growing, companies in this space are looking for ways to generate new revenue.

“Giving out information [for] free gets in the way of making money, but there are ways to get revenue,” IDC analyst Sue Feldman told the E-Commerce Times.

And Wagner added, “search traffic is the highest-converting traffic on the Web,” which makes it attractive to advertisers and large Web sites.

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