The Ask listings will be included as part of an Office Live adManager beta search advertising service, which is a management system to allow small businesses to purchase and manage search engine-based keyword advertising, according to Michael Schultz, U.S. business and marketing lead for Microsoft Office Live.

"This is one of the first times you've had search engines joining together to meet the needs for small businesses," said Schultz. "What's significant about Ask.com getting together with Microsoft Office Live, is we're actually making it simple and easy for small business to understand and take advantage of search marketing. To be able to do things like contextual targeting opens up another avenue to allow small businesses to get their message out."

Office Live users will be able to view and manage their keyword advertising accounts directly from an adManager interface within the product that will give them the option of purchasing ads on MSN, Live Search or Ask Sponsored Listings, he said. The Ask system allows marketers to purchase and manage pay-per-click and contextual advertising campaigns on Ask.com and its publisher network.

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