Ask Jeeves will launch their own automated paid listings service Monday. The new system will supplement Ask Jeeves' existing use of Google AdWords (from which AJ derives roughly 70% of its revenue). With the new system, advertisers will be able to buy the top three ad slots on AJ sites -- Google AdWords will continue to backfill any ad slots that remain unsold. This model has been successfully executed on comparison shopping sites like Shopping.com and BizRate; however for those sites, advertisers who work directly receive an entirely different level of integration with the products. Will the butler be able to provide a higher ROI on traffic bought directly through its site to warrant both the additional cost and additional management time? And, if this program is successful, what happens in 2007, when the current contract between AJ and Google expires?
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