Ask uses Google to promote pirate site in Norway

Thu 22 January 2009 14:15, Bas van den Beld

Ask uses Google to promote pirate site in Norway

Apparently Norwegian companies, some of which in the record-business, saw their Adwords text adds appear on Isohunt, a Bit Torrent search engine. This news was shared by the Norwegian Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv. According to Pandia Search Engine News the ads are probably served by Ask.

Google excluded Isohunt from using Adwords because it promotes the use of illegal downloading. This is against Google regulations and therefore Isohunt should not be able to use either Adwords or Adsense. Apparently they found a leap hole.

Pandia found out that the URLS in the pay per click text ads in the Isohunt search results are redirected through Ask. Because Ask is using the Google platform to serve ads Isohunt found a way to still be able to serve the ads.


The Norwegian recording industry reacted immediately and complained at Google. Google Norway right away tried to stop the ads from being displayed at Isohunt. They also stated that advertises usually can remove ads from specific sites themselves, but that in this case that was difficult because 3rd parties were involved.

Google stated: “In this case it has been impossible for the advertisers to find out that their ads have been displayed over at Isohunt. This means that the advertisers cannot be blamed for having their ads presented there.

Ask is known for its ties with Bit Torrent sites and Google must have known that. But the search giant will be far from happy with what happened here. Since Ask is not only serving ads in Norway, but around Europe, Google and Ask will probably have to find a way to prevent this from happening again.

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Comments (1)


  • This is one of the problems you have to deal with when doing business via third parties. I don't know exactly how big Ask is in Norway, but it seems to me this problem is relatively small. Nevertheless, it should be prevented if it is not allowed.

    Do 22 jan 2009, 15:06


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