Ask’s New App Search To Be Powered By Quixey

apps-featured Quixey and Ask have entered into a deal in which apps from Quixey's database, whether for mobile or the PC, will be integrated into search results. It's going live today and should be rolling out now, although it's not yet live for me. Apps in Ask search results will be from Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Blackberry. Tomer Kagan, co-founder and CEO of Quixey, says that apps can equally be "answers" to search queries. Apps thus become one more content category for end users. While app search has existed for some time in specialized sites and app stores, the further mainstreaming of app [...] Celebrates 15th Birthday the social search/Q&A engine is 15 years old. Founded in 1996 as Ask Jeeves by Garrett Gruener and David Warthen the company has launched a special social site to celebrate its birthday and review events of the past 15 years -- Here's a brief recent history of Ask: July 1999: Ask Jeeves goes public March 2005: IAC buys Ask Jeeves for $1.85 billion February 2006: Jeeves the Butler goes into retirement April 2006: Steve Berkowitz, head of, leaves to join Microsoft. Jim Lazone named CEO of Ask June 2007: Lanzone launches innovative Ask 3D UI, which [...]

With So Much Money Is A Facebook Search Engine Inevitable?

The news broke yesterday that Facebook was getting a whopping $500 million from Goldman Sachs and existing investor Digital Sky Technologies at a valuation of $50 billion. None of this has been confirmed by the company but it's being very widely reported. Apparently the Goldman investment will enable the company's most wealthy clients to "get in" before an IPO and virtually guarantee that Goldman is the firm (or the lead firm) that takes Facebook public when that eventually happens. Groupon also just raised a gigantic funding round, between $500 million and $950 million according to reports [...]

Barry Diller No Longer CEO Of IAC,

Reuters reports Barry Diller, the CEO of IAC/InterActiveCorp, which bought Ask years back, is no longer the CEO of the company. Barry Diller recently gave up on with competing with Google, turning back into a Q&A site. Now Diller is the chairman and senior executive of IAC, and the current CEO of IAC portfolio company, Greg Blatt, will take over as the CEO of IAC/InterActiveCorp. Part of this news is that cable company Liberty Media has bought out of the company, trading in their shares of IAC in exchange for $220 million in cash and and Evite, once [...] To Focus On Q&A Search, End Web Crawling

Talk about getting back to your roots., which originally used humans to find answers to questions, is going further back to its origins by abandoning its web crawling technology. The Need, Or Not, To Crawl Search engines like Google and Bing try to have answers to anything someone might search for by "crawling" the web, making copies of all the pages they find and storing them in a searchable database, or index. Ask has done the same thing since around 2001, when it acquired the Teoma search engine. Crawling helps ensure that you have a comprehensive index. However, crawling is an [...]

Saturday Night Live: Yahoo & AOL Merger Like Two Seniors Dating At A Nursing Home

A couple weeks ago, there were some rumors that AOL may buy Yahoo. This past week's Saturday Night Live's news brief skit with John Mulaney started off talking about that news bit. John Mulaney said, and here is the transcript: First up in the world of technology. I heard this week that AOL might be buying Yahoo. I love it! That is so sweet. It is like when two people in a nursing home start dating. They may not have much time left, but at least they have each other. I love it! You can watch the skit on Hulu, if Hulu allows you to. It is the introductory part of the sn [...]

IAC Boss Barry Diller Disses Ask, Says It Has “No Value”

Like a father disowning his own child IAC's Barry Diller seems to have all but written off the search engine he paid almost two billion dollars for a few short years ago (update: see Barry Diller statement below). According to TechCrunch, Diller told a conference audience (partial paraphrase) that today Ask had "no value." I don’t think is going to gain search share; everyone copied us . . . Ask has no value inside of IAC, so why would it add value as a standalone site? That can't be correct because Ask contributes substantial revenue to the company's Media & Advertising divis [...]

Diller: Was The Little Search Engine That Couldn’t

At one time, IAC's CEO Barry Diller thought his search engine could take on Google. But Diller effectively threw in the towel yesterday on an investors call. Diller downplayed's role in the over IAC company but said he ultimately failed at thinking can compete with Google. Diller said: But one thing I want to make clear to investors is that Ask itself is not a large segment of the company. I had hoped it would become one, but I was wrong about that. I was wrong about the competitive landscape with Google. And a lot of our new features that Ask has been sporting [...]

IAC Q4 Earnings: Search Growth 3% But Takes $1 Billion Loss On

IAC, the parent company of, reported their fourth quarter earnings today and overall, it was a good quarter of revenue for IAC, being up 5% year-over-year in revenue. On the income side of the balance sheet, IAC was up 47% from Q4 of 2008 to Q4 2009. Search, which includes, was up 3% to $185.4 million. Much of the search growth came from toolbar searches, which was up by 35% in terms of revenue. Search also was up 5% in terms of income, but IAC decided to write off a $1 billion "impairment charge" on The exact amount was $1,020.6 million loss on the search busin [...] Puts Its NASCAR Sponsorship Back In Garage has ended its NASCAR sponsorship after one year. That's according to The Sporting News, which reports that the sponsorship was actually fairly successful for Jared Cluff, Ask's senior VP of marketing, says the deal produced some measurable results in 2009: "We saw double-digit increases in usage among NASCAR fans. With the fan cards that our Ask Ambassadors passed out at the track, we saw a 27 percent conversion rate to the site, so fans were coming back from the track and going to the site. That's a remarkable stat." The Sporting News says Ask spent about $15 million [...]

Armstrong: Google Gets “First Dibs” At AOL Search Deal

AOL's CEO: Google To Get 1st Shot At New Search Deal from the Wall Street Journal reports AOL's CEO, Tim Armstrong saying that Google will get "first dibs" at a search deal. Armstrong said this at Citi's annual entertainment, media and telecommunications conference today. This was prompted by a question about possibly using Microsoft Bing as a search partner at the end of this year, when the Google deal expires. Armstrong added that a new search deal, under the new independent AOL, will be financially good for them. He specifically said they "may trade search dollars for more display dol [...]

IAC’s Diller Decides Not To Sell

The mercurial Barry Diller, CEO of IAC, decided apparently that he didn't want to sell Ask. During the Q3 earnings call Reuters reported that Diller said the following: "We've been asked a lot whether we're open to consolidating transactions in the area of search. The answer is yes," Diller said. "And, it is unlikely that we would be the consolidator." According to a new Reuters report he turned away several would-be buyers after some preliminary discussions: AC/InterActiveCorp CEO Barry Diller said he has been approached by various parties about purchasing, but he is less intereste [...]

Diller Backs Off Sale, Talks Consolidation Instead

In what might just be a bit of posturing, Barry Diller told the Reuters Global Media Summit in New York that he's turned away companies interested in buying and thinks consolidation with another search company is the way to go. Diller, the CEO of IAC --'s parent company -- was clarifying comments made in October, when he said he's "open to consolidating transactions in the area of search," and that it's "unlikely that we would be the consolidator." Today, he talked about turning away others who wanted to buy "The people who called us were on exploration missions, [...]

Ask Making A Bigger Bet On “Social Search” Or Q&A

If you're the number four search engine in a market that is looking like it's going to be about two (maybe three) players in the long run, what do you do? If you're Barry Diller and running the parent company of Ask, the search engine in question, you're potentially looking at selling, with Microsoft as a logical buyer. That's all speculation at this point, however. In the meantime, Ask is doing and trying a lot of things to keep users and redefine its role in this new, contracting or consolidating search landscape. Most recently it made a major push into shopping with "deals search." Anoth [...]

Diller Says He’s Willing To Sell

Barry Diller, CEO of IAC -- the parent company of -- said today that he's willing to sell the struggling, fourth-place search engine. His comments came during a conference call with investors after IAC reported its 3rd quarter earnings. "We've been asked a lot whether we're open to consolidating transactions in the area of search. The answer is yes," Diller said. "And, it is unlikely that we would be the consolidator." Diller also called the future of "speculative" during today's call, citing the "fierce" competition in search. IAC's media and advertising business -- whi [...]

Gulli Leaves For Microsoft Bing, Finally Has “Resources”

Ten days ago, we reported that Antonio Gulli left after 4 years heading up their technology team in the European R&D center. Gulli announced his new plans are to continue in search, but switch ships and work for Microsoft Bing. Gulli said he will be "leading all the engineering development for UX and verticals in Europe," focusing on Microsoft Bing's search technology and user interface. He will be working at Microsoft's London site of STC Europe nearby Carnaby Street. What I found most interesting about his announcement post was that he, in not so many words, explained that he [...] Mocks Yahoo With Employee Poaching Sign

I was walking through the expo hall, which I rarely do, and I spotted at the booth this sign. You read that? "My company just gave up on search. Where do I work now" and then the URL at the bottom. That is being funny and then trying to pick up Yahoo Search employees. I am also being told that they are giving away bars of chocolate that say the same line. Yea, Yahoo did give up on search but I also personally believe has also given up on search. [...]’s IAC Revenue Drops 10%, Revenue Per Query Down's parent company reported second quarter earnings, which showed an overall decline in revenue of 4% for the overall company, but dipped 10% in the media and advertising category, the category fits into. IAC said revenue per query declined because of an "improved experience on following its relaunch in October." The relaunch has lead to "fewer clicks by consumers to find what they are looking for, as well as a decrease in cost per click." Here are the key numbers from the earnings release: Overall Revenues at $340 million down 4% from a year ago, at $354.2M [...]

Ask CEO Safka to Depart

According to the Wall Street Journal, CEO Jim Safka is leaving the company. He will become the head of Chegg, Inc., which rents textbooks to students online. The decision to leave is apparently Safka's, for personal reasons. Longtime IAC executive Scott Garell will take over as "President of Ask Networks." In its most recent earnings report, IAC's "media & advertising" business (which reflects search revenues) was off 22 percent compared with the same period a year ago. Ask's market share, as the WSJ article points out, has remained largely flat during Safka's time at the helm, [...]

New Ask Datacenter Expands Search Capacity

In the on again off again debate about whether Ask remains serious about search, a new blog post suggests that Ask is making a bid to improve its search index and efficiency, having completed a move to a new datacenter: Our engineers were going to have to spend more time on improving efficiency, and less time on new feature development. So we've been in the planning stages for moving to new datacenter spaces since 2006, and we've executed the move of thousands of systems over the past several months . . . We're excited about our new infrastructure position because it supports new and [...]

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