MSN Powers UK's Times Online; Ask UK Scales Back Ads

Two brief items from the UK search scene today.

+ Revolution Magazine reports that MSN Search (MSN.co.uk) will power web search on the Times of London web site.

The six-figure deal will mean the Times Online Search the Web toolbar will be MSN branded, and will drive Times Online users to the MSN Search homepage. The placement will be fully integrated into the Times Online site and will run until June 2006.

+ The Netipmerative article: Ask scales back UK paid search ads, reports that Ask UK has done what we saw Jeeves.com do a few months ago and cut back on the number of ads on web results pages.

According to the company, Ask.co.uk will remove Branded Response and Answerlink ad products from the site as of December 31st.

The article also notes that Ask.co.uk has postponed its plans to offer their Ask Jeeves Sponsored Listings in the UK.

Finally, Ask.co.uk is planning a "phased reduction" of their UK sales force between now and the end of the year.