Ask Jeeves Reports Earnings; CEO Comments on Improving User Experience By Reducing Number of Ads on Results Pages

AJ reported their Q1 earnings last night:

+ Q1 2005 net income of $ 18.1 million, or 26 cents a share vs. $13.4 million, or 23 cents a share, in Q1 2004.

+ Revenue more than doubled to $94.9 million from $39.2 million in the year- earlier period. Results for the recent quarter included the acquisition of Interactive Search Holdings Inc., a deal Ask Jeeves closed in May 2004.

+ Google advertising accounted for 70% of Ask Jeeves’ revenue.

+ IAC acquisition will close in late Q2 or early Q3.

The DJ article: Ask Jeeves CEO: IAC Purchase Is Important Strategically, has a couple of comments from AJ CEO Steve Berkowitz including one about AJ reducing the number of ads on web results pages.

“We believe this is an important strategic move for Ask Jeeves,” he said. ” We’re joining a company [IAC] with traffic, content and expertise in building brands.”

Putting Jeeves’ search box on IAC’s Web properties, which include Expedia, CitySearch, Ticketmaster and, should significantly boost search traffic, brand awareness and search-ad inventory, Berkowitz said. “That’s a quick win,” he said in an interview following the call.

Berkowitz said that, in a bid to improve the user experience with the search engine, the company began to implement a program in early April to reduce by 31% the number of ads it shows at the top of its results pages. The company’s tests show that a smaller number of ads boosts the frequency with which people use the site and aids user retention. As such, Jeeves expects the change to help lift query volumes and ad revenue later in the year.

Want to discuss? Join our forum thread, Ask Jeeves to Reduce Paid Ads.

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