• http://blog.teammatelabs.com A reader

    Great post. I hope that people starts to use a different search engine.
    Google algorithms starts to be a bit fol

  • http://www.resourceshelf.com gary price

    Great post. Kudos.

    Your post does a great job of illustrating what we’ve been up to at Ask.com. Of course, I’ve also been busy working on ResourceShelf.com and DocuTicker.com, which are independent of my job at Ask.

    For just a few seconds, allow me to put on my Ask.com cap and share a few additional features/”cool tools” focusing on Smart Answers, the content that many times appears at the top of a web results page. What I’m listing is just the tip of the iceberg. I could do an entire book of Smart Answers.

    Why Smart Answers? As you know I’m a librarian and one of the five laws of library science is, “save the time of the reader.” In this day and age, saving the time of the SEARCHER is very important. Smart Answers help to accomplish this mission by placing useful info and direct links, from various sources, in a place where it’s likely to be both seen and used.

    A) Smart RSS
    Here are two examples for your name and for SEL. Using the power of RSS to place results (the last three SEL posts) directly at the top of the web results page.
    +++ Search Engine Land
    +++ Danny Sullivan

    More to come and it’s not only blogs. Here’s an example of a feed listing FDA recalls.

    B) Searching for Info about a Location
    In librarian terms, I might call these “virtual ready reference shelves” of useful links, providing a variety of links including the official home page, chamber of commerce, school stats, etc.
    Example: Newport Beach, CA

    C) Earthquakes. Near real-time info. You can also narrow by adding a location.
    For example: earthquakes Alaska.

    Btw, don’t forget the near real-time global earthquake map. Locations for all earthquakes are shown (global in scope) with info about their magnitude.

    D) Disambiguation as part of a Smart Answer.
    Try the search, “zip codes columbus.” The default of Columbus, Ohio is provided but also a drop-down for other cities in the U.S. with the same name. Also, many cities have more than one zip code so you’ll see a direct link to the U.S. Postal Service database to access other zip codes for that location.

    Another example.
    A search for dogs? Did you mean dogs in general or do you want a specific breed. Again, note the drop-down menu.

    E) Real-time Weather Alerts in Weather Smart Answers. So, in addition to getting temp, forecast, climate info, Ask also provides current weather alerts (like a Flood Watch or a Thunderstorm Watch?) for a given location.
    Example at this moment: A search for weather in Peoria.

    Note the ALERT. Just mouse over to read.
    And another disambiguation box asking if you mean Peoria, AZ or another place with the same name.

    F) Ask Jeeves back several years ago began placing inline images on results pages based on the context of the query. We are adding new terms to help improve precision of these inline image results.
    Example: Watercolors of Flowers

    Example: Los Angeles Angels logos

    G) Some Smart Answers provide a direct answer along with a link to get more.
    Example: Market Cap KO (Coca-Cola)

    Example: Best Actor 1972 Oscars

    I could go on listing many many more but we can save that for another time. :-)

    And a couple of my favorite features.

    First, each entry on an Ask Blog and Feed search results page offers both direct links to subscribe to the feed using Bloglines and a number of other services. You’ll also find direct links to share the post using digg, del.icio.us, Reddit, etc.

    Finally, try a search for a music group or solo performer. Many of the results include an option (look in the right pane) to listen to a small portion of some of their most popular tracks directly from the results page. This is in addition to a Smart Answer at the top of the page.
    Example: Rolling Stones
    Example: No Doubt