Microsoft has added Ask Sponsored Listings to its adManager service on the Office Live platform. Using adManager, small businesses can buy and manage search ads from a simplified interface. Previously, the ad options were Microsoft's MSN Network and Live Search.
"This is one of the first times you've had search engines joining together to meet the needs for small businesses," Michael Schultz, U.S. business and marketing lead for Microsoft Office Live, told ClickZ News. "What's significant about Ask.com getting together with Microsoft Office Live, is we're actually making it simple and easy for small business to understand and take advantage of search marketing. To be able to do things like contextual targeting opens up another avenue to allow small businesses to get their message out."
Schultz also said the deal was in the works before former Ask.com CEO Steve Berkowitz left to join Microsoft 15 months ago.