Here's an odd path of search engine ads that you're only every likely to stumble on on New Year's Day. While checking out possible onebox features at Google I asked [today's date]. Ask.com (aka Ask.co.uk) where bidding...
Alright. So maybe Ask has a clever Smart Answer that they want to show me. Let's look.
Answer: No. Nothing clever from Ask - just more Google ads.
You can see bids from a well known dating site in the screen grab and one from another is just out of shot. I didn't check to see whether either where affiliates - nevertheless any and all calendar references seem like obvious negative keywords to me.
The dating site that's just out of screen shot proudly run their PPC inhouse after telling trade press that no agency understands dating as they do and so they would do it best. Of course; it could have been an affiliate ad.
Reuters are the top bidder. I thought that they might have a today's date special. That would make sense for a news site. Let's look.
And... no. Just the Reuters homepage. I'm not sure why Reuters are bidding on this but it does seem to be part of their SEM strategy. You can tell that by looking at the URL of the landing page;
They're using Webtrends to track their 'General News' campaign.
I'm not sure how robust that SEM strategy is. You see; I didn't actually get sent straight to the Reuters homepage. I was first landed at and ad (shown below) and then automatically forwarded to their homepage.
Google has rules about PPC landing pages which automatically foward you to other pages...