Ask's 'Sponsored Listings' Program Sucks

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Ask's 'Sponsored Listings' Program SucksIn my 6-year tenure as a search marketing professional, I have not once come across a PPC interface as difficult to use as Ask's is. If I didn't know any better I'd suggest that Ask took a long, hard look at what other paid search providers were doing with their interfaces and decided to do the complete opposite. Ask simply dropped the ball here.

Ask's 'Sponsored Listings' Program Sucks

I'm sorry if the title comes off a little strong. As bad as it sounds, know that there is no other way in which I can politely stress my point all the while still express the frustration that I have for the Ask Sponsored Listings platform. It's time for a rant.

I'd like to first begin by stating that I have no problems with Ask's technology or even their sponsored search network. I happen to think that Ask has done very well on both of these fronts. However, the problem I do have is with the platform's interface. I find their interface to be extremely difficult to use which in turn makes managing a paid campaign very difficult. In fact, I am at the point where I'm recommending that my clients don't advertise on Ask because of these interface issues. If I can't easily and efficiently manage a paid-search account, than I simply choose not to do it. This is a problem and it needs to be addressed.

In my 6-year tenure as a search marketing professional, I have not once come across a PPC interface as difficult to use as Ask's is. Not Google. Not Yahoo!. Not MSN. Not Kanoodle. Not Enhance. Not 7Search. Not FindWhat. Not anyone. If I didn't know any better I'd suggest that Ask took a long, hard look at what other paid search providers were doing with their interfaces and decided to do the complete opposite. It simply sucks... there is no nicer way to say it.

Furthermore, I can appreciate one's need to be unique, especially in a space as competitive as search is. However, Ask dropped the ball here. They ignored industry standards when creating their Sponsored Listings interface, and because of that, navigating the platform and creating and editing campaigns is extremely difficult to do.

I would very much love to see Ask redesign their Sponsored Listings program, starting specifically with it's interface. I'd like to see a model that is more standardized and of course easier to use. Functionality is key. However, until then, I am boycotting the use of Ask's paid search program.

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