Ask Relaunches: Now “Ask 3D”

Chris Sherman once compared to Apple. Ask CEO Jim Lanzone remarked to me that he liked the comparison because it spoke to quality and innovativeness. Indeed, among the top-tier search engines Ask has arguably been the most innovative. In one sense it has to be. Without that effort it might lose hold on the roughly 5 percent search market share it currently has. But the site has never gotten the notice and usage that Lanzone feels is justified. That may change with the introduction of the new Ask -– "Ask 3D." The company is touting the release as a "major leap forward" for search. [...]’s Usability Architect: Exclusive Interview With Michael Ferguson

I love an underdog, especially a smart underdog. So I’m definitely rooting for, because I think they’ve been an undervalued player in the search game. All the headlines have been focused on the big three and in the meantime, the team back at has been quietly building a better search engine. A much better search engine. And from the user’s point of view, one of the main people to thank is Michael Ferguson, Ask’s key user interface person. Michael and I met a few years ago when we both presented on the same panel at Search Engine Strategies (the name of the city escap [...]

Imagine Live Search – Microsoft’s Test Site Launches

Spotted via LiveSide, Imagine Live Search is a new experimental search engine from Windows Live. Like those from Ask (Ask X), Google (SearchMash) and Yahoo (Alpha), it provides a mixture of results all on the same page. Below is a look at Microsoft's new test bed search engine, Imagine Live Search, as well as a comparison to the other test bed search engines from the other providers. Imagine Live Search: I figured I do a search for [george bush] and show you some of the features. Here is a quick overview of the page: Let me go through each element: The [...]

Search Engines’ Test Beds

In Search of... Better Ways to Search at the Wall Street Journal goes through the different ways search engines like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and use "spin off" sites to test new features. We have reported about all these in the past, but the article offers a nice overview of many of the methods search engines test features. Google's Test Site: Yahoo's Test Sites: AllTheWeb and AltaVista Microsoft's Test Site: Ms Dewey's Test Site: Ask X The search engines also constantly test out new features to a subset of their users on their main sites. [...]

Interview with “Head Chef” and CEO Jim Lanzone

Spotted via Marketing Pilgrim, this interview with CEO Jim Lanzone by Donna Bogatin at ZDNet on his vision and his role within both Ask and parent company IAC: "We are a world-class technology company and we are able to take ingredients from our sister companies, luckily in many cases premium ingredients because they are number 1 and 2 in their category, and we can remix those ingredients into something that is market leading in a particular vertical. That is exactly what we did with AskCity." Lanzone also talks about the new AskX site, other future additions in vertical search, and [...] Tests New Search Interface With Ask X

The Read Write Web blog first spotted testing a new interface they named Ask X. The new interface sports a steel background for the home page with more goodies inside. A search on Ask X for barry schwartz shows a three column pane interface. On the left hand side is the search box, where you can type and as you type you see search suggestions appear below the search box [Note From Danny: Pity this doesn't happen on the home page as well]. In the middle column is a smart answer, followed by two paid listings and then the organic results, with's binoculars. You can also sa [...]

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