Ask Jeeves and Google Sign $100 Million Three-Year Deal
Ask Jeeves selects Google Sponsored Links Program; projects revenue from paid listings to double by Q4
Emeryville, Calif. – July 18, 2002 – Ask Jeeves Web Properties, a division of Ask Jeeves®, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASKJ), today announced it selected the Google Sponsored Links Program, a paid listings advertising service for use on Ask Jeeves’ search sites. Under the agreement, Ask Jeeves and Google will share the more than $100 million in estimated revenue to be generated from Google’s advertisers on Ask Jeeves’ search sites over three years. Google’s sponsored links service will complement Ask Jeeves’ own suite of advertising products, including its proprietary paid listings product, branded ad units and paid inclusion products. Beginning in September 2002, Google’s sponsored links will replace the third-party paid listings currently featured on Ask Jeeves search sites. Ask Jeeves also announced today second quarter financial results and confirmed the Company’s fourth quarter pro-forma profitability target.
Ask Jeeves (Ask.com®), the second largest pure search engine according to Nielsen//NetRatings, will use Google’s sponsored links service to offer advertiser listings ranked by relevancy and a bidding system from a rapidly growing base of advertisers. In addition, the agreement will also enable Ask Jeeves to syndicate the Google Sponsored Links Program along with Ask Jeeves’ Teoma search technology, proprietary paid listings product, branded ad units and paid inclusion products. For Google, the agreement extends its reach to Ask Jeeves’ millions of unique users, a valuable audience that overlaps with Google’s unique users by less than 15 percent (Nielsen//NetRatings).
"By utilizing Google’s sponsored links service alongside our Teoma search technology, we will deliver a great search experience to millions of users on Ask.com and Teoma.com," said Skip Battle, chief executive officer of Ask Jeeves, Inc. "The deal with Google also improves our returns substantially. We expect our revenue from paid listings on Ask Jeeves and Teoma.com to more than double from Q3 to Q4 and beyond as a result of this agreement."
"Our paid placement business has already increased by 40 percent from the first quarter to the second quarter. This was due primarily to the addition of our own proprietary Premier Listings product and continued strong growth in our Branded Response product," said Steve Berkowitz, president of Ask Jeeves Web Properties. "As we continue to increase the percentage of revenue from paid placement we’ll increase the predictability of our revenue streams and cash flow. This should have a very positive impact on our financial projections and allow us to make additional investments in our search technology and site experience," added Berkowitz.
"This agreement will put our advertisers in front of millions of new users while also offering them new audience characteristics distinct to Ask Jeeves," said Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman and CEO. "Google and Ask Jeeves have a shared vision of making it easy and efficient for people to search on the Web. By working in partnership, we will help grow the overall search market."
Battle added, "We’re delighted with our relationship with Google. We’ve worked effectively with them in the development of this deal and expect to continue a good working relationship on the paid listings front."
Upon implementation in September 2002, Google’s advertisers will be prominently featured in the "Sponsored Links" portion of the Ask Jeeves and Teoma.com results pages.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. Factors that might cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to: risks associated with the e-commerce and e-support markets; dependence on the Internet; risk associated with rapid technological change; lack of market acceptance of products; slower spending environment for advertising sales; dependence on third parties for content; distribution and advertising inventory; introduction of new products by competitors; declines in the average selling price of the Company’s products; and, adverse economic conditions in any of the major countries or markets in which the Company does business. Further information on potential risk factors that could affect the financial results of Ask Jeeves are included in its 2001 Annual Report on Form 10-K, and its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and other filings for 2001 and 2002 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
About Ask Jeeves Web Properties
Through advanced technologies, Ask Jeeves Web Properties provide consumers with authoritative and fast ways to find relevant answers to their everyday searches. Ask Jeeves delivers its search technologies and services through its own Web sites at Ask Jeeves (Ask.com) and Teoma (Teoma.com). The Ask Jeeves Keyword Network(SM), the Company’s advertising services network, provides advertisers with innovative, targeted and effective tools for reaching a broad base of highly valuable customers. Ask Jeeves Web Properties also syndicates its technologies to portals, infomediaries, and content and destination sites to help companies increase e-commerce and advertising revenue through powerful search.
About Ask Jeeves, Inc.
Ask Jeeves is a leading provider of natural language question answering and advanced search technologies. The company offers these technologies through two business units: Web Properties and Jeeves Solutions(SM). Web Properties operates a top 20 media property that delivers one-to-one marketing by connecting interested users with relevant advertisers. In addition to its Web sites, which include Ask Jeeves at Ask.com® and Teoma(SM) at Teoma.com, Ask Jeeves also syndicates its monetized search technology to a network of affiliate partners. Jeeves Solutions, Ask Jeeves’ enterprise software business, helps companies improve customer interaction online. Its automated, natural language software enables self-service through sophisticated connectivity to companies’ Web content and back-end systems. JeevesOne™, its flagship product, also provides deep analytics that help companies learn about their customers. Ask Jeeves is based in Emeryville, California, with offices in New York, Boston, New Jersey, Los Angeles and London. For more information, visit www.ask.com or call 510-985-7400.
Ask Jeeves, Inc.
Ask Jeeves and Ask.com are registered trademarks of Ask Jeeves, Inc. Ask Jeeves Keyword Network, Branded Response, Premier Listings, Teoma and Teoma.com are service marks and trademarks of Ask Jeeves, Inc. Other marks may be the property of their respective owners.