ARCHIVED: About sponsored links on IU ChaCha searches

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About the ads

Ads on ChaCha results pages, also known as "sponsored links", take you to promotional web sites. Organizations that own these sites pay for the links in hopes that you will visit the site and purchase the organization's goods and/or services. Sponsored links are targeted to the individual based upon entered search terms, increasing their relevance to returned search results. Advertising has long been a model to subsidize the cost of a service and is a common model across many Internet services. Platforms such as Google, YouTube, and Facebook regularly use ads and sponsorships to engage their communities and reduce costs.

The development of an IU search platform leveraging the strength of ChaCha's guide infrastructure requires significant resources to build and support. The use of sponsored links allows ChaCha to recoup development costs without direct payment from IU, transferring some of the cost of development to commercial entities willing to pay through advertising.

Just as the IU ChaCha Strategic Alliance represents a pioneering initiative, the use of online sponsorship may be a new method of generating revenue, although it also represents a significant cultural shift for IU. IU and ChaCha will mutually assess the benefits and ongoing viability of sponsored links and make adjustments as needed to meet organizational goals.

Appearance of sponsored links

On IU ChaCha search results, sponsored links appear as the first two entries in the list of results. The background color is slightly different than standard results, and the links are clearly marked with "Ads by Google". More sponsored links appear on the screen's right.

Benefit to IU

In addition to developmental cost savings, IU receives a percentage of the revenue from searches performed through the IU ChaCha search platform through a revenue-sharing plan with ChaCha. IU will use its share to fund student internship opportunities.

UITS has long recognized not only the importance of delivering high-quality IT services to support students, faculty, and staff, but also the importance of directly engaging in students' learning. For several years, UITS has funded the Gerald L. Bepko Student Internship Program to provide students from populations traditionally under-represented in IT professions the opportunity to work on strategic information technology projects. Revenue from the ChaCha alliance will allow IU to expand internship programs to provide additional opportunities in IT for the student community.

Legal and policy requirements

In general, IU restricts the ability to place advertising on web sites. This policy allows IU to present a comprehensive and recognizable visual identity on the Internet without interference from external source providers. As with other changes in advertising and sponsorship activities at IU, the placement of appropriate and legal sponsored links on search results pages was agreed upon by IU executive leadership for the reasons explained above.

To meet legal, policy, and contractual obligations (see the University-wide IT Policies page), ChaCha is deploying Google AdSense to automatically eliminate sponsored links from URLs promoting alcohol, tobacco, adult content, firearms, intellectual property piracy, and other inappropriate products and activities; for more, see Google AdWords Advertising Policies.

Additionally, to protect the rights of IU contracts, competitors of exclusive contract holders are restricted from sponsoring links.

Complaints regarding inappropriate links

In spite of IU's best efforts to restrict sponsored links, inappropriate links could appear due to the development of new web sites, changes in the filtering used by ChaCha, or changes to applicable policy and law.

Cases of inappropriate links will be addressed as needed and the appropriateness of the link will be assessed based upon applicable policy and law. To report an inappropriate link, email or phone 812-855-6789 (IUB) or 317-274-4357 (IUPUI). If the ad is deemed inappropriate, the link will be removed within two business days.

Departmentally sponsored links

The framework to allow IU departments, divisions, schools, and colleges to sponsor links is still in development, with planned deployment during the first quarter of 2008.

Another search option

The services developed with ChaCha are meant to be additive to existing IU services; however, if you prefer to search IU's web pages without viewing sponsored links, you can search from


IU welcomes feedback on your experiences with the new IU ChaCha Search platform and sponsored links. Your input will allow better assessment regarding meeting the needs of the IU community. To comment, send email with "ChaCha Comments" in the subject line to

This is document avzj in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-01-18 16:11:12.

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