It was pointed out to me recently that search company Ask Jeeves is a fairly big player in the adware market. I guess I should have known this, but last year Ask Jeeves bought a company with the mild-mannered name of Interactive Holdings. But look behind the curtain and see what unsavory characters lurk. Interactive Holdings was a front for iWon, My Search, My Way, and My Web Search. Ask Jeeves doesn’t exactly hide the fact–you can find these companies listed on the Ask Jeeves Web site.
My opinion of Ask Jeeves, never particularly high, has suffered a great deal due to this revelation, old news though it is. I’m generally amazed at how much financial backing adware companies get. I know that they are pulling in plenty of money, and I’ve heard of venture capitalists investing in them. But I don’t think the investors realize they are buying into a very short term business. They probably listen to adware company presentations and actually believe that adware is a good value proposition for the consumer, not taking into account the almost universal hatred for adware. I’m sure they will learn about it one way or the other.