Recent signals suggested Ask was shifting focus away from Search, however a new deal has emerged which may provide a better insight into their real focus.
The former Butler of search engines has tied up a deal with photo sharing and hosting service, Photobucket, which will see Ask.com results served as the default web search results on the site. The deal will also Ask’s sponsored listings and display advertising syndicated in Photobucket’s results.
Photobucket, who was bought by News Corp. in May 2007, is one of the top players in the photo sharing and hosting space. The site generates over 44 million uniques per month, offering some valuable search exposure for Ask’s search results.
“Photobucket has one of the largest online audiences, and now Ask.com provides these consumers with the answers to the questions they ask every day,” said Andrew Moers, senior vice president and general manager for Ask.com’s Partner Network.
Essentially the deal will see the Ask.com search box featured through the Photobucket website and the results displayed in what looks like a co-branded ask.com search page (see image below).
While the deal wont bridge the gap between and Ask.com and search leaders Google and Yahoo!, it’s a clever niche focus, which provides advertisers with access to a highly targeted audience.