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 [...] 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 [...]’s Founder Of Search Technology Leaves: Apostolos Gerasoulis

I just got word that the co-founder of Teoma, the search engine acquired to power natural search, Apostolos Gerasoulis has left Apostolos Gerasoulis was the executive vice president of search technology for If you look his Linkedin profile you will see his current position is no longer being at Here is a screen shot: Apostolos has been the force behind all the search technology deployed at for the past years. Him leaving is another major let down for the future of's core search technology. Most of you know my thoughts on [...]

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 [...]

Antonio Gulli Leaves After 4 Years

The next personality to leave is Antonio Gulli who was hired about four years ago to lead up the technology team in the European R&D center. Antonio announced he is leaving and explained what he worked while at He worked on: Image Search News and Blog search Video News Search DailyBeast Core Web Search Infrastructure RealTime Fresh Web Ranking Core Frontend Platform for UK Here was Antonio's bio prior to joining Antonio was the creator of the first Italian Search engine in 1998, Arianna, and he was CEO/CTO of Ideare (sold to Tiscali S.p.a. in [...]

The Big List Of Search Engines & Their Employees On Twitter

Yesterday, Google joined Twitter with a company account. We twittered a few search engine-related addresses as part of our post about that, but we wanted to do one that was a little more organized. So welcome to our big search engine Twitter list! The list isn't complete, nor will it ever be. But that's how it went with blogging. A few years ago, search engines and their employees jumped into the world of blogging (our Search Engine Land blogroll lists a number of these). "Who's blogging" lists soon emerged, until blogging became so mainstream that people stopped bothering to keep track. [...]

Zawodny Leaves Yahoo; Weiner To Go? And Linsley Departs Ask

Two big names have left Yahoo and Ask and speculation is that a third is to go. Below, more about he departures of Yahoo's Jeremy Zawdony, Ask's Peter Linsley, and Yahoo's Jeffrey Weiner, who is rumored to be leaving soon. Jeremy Zawdony just announced he is leaving Yahoo. Jeremy has been with Yahoo for over eight years now and was one of Yahoo's most prolific bloggers. As an analogy, Zawdony is the Scoble or Cutts of Yahoo. Major loss for Yahoo? In my opinion, Yes. Jeremy did not say what his future holds but he did offer some advice for those at Yahoo: As for the future of Yahoo, ever [...]

Six Minutes With Former Ask CEO Jim Lanzone

AllThingD's Kara Swisher does a wide ranging video interview with former Ask CEO Jim Lanzone. Among other things, Swisher and Lanzone discuss "the future of search" (at only the very highest level, however). Lanzone discusses Ask3D and the general trend toward introducing more structured and multimedia content into search results, and the movement away from the proverbial "10 blue links." Regarding the Microsoft-Yahoo merger, Lanzone says it will benefit smaller search players in the market. He asserts that Microsoft's cash might be able to fund greater innovation at Yahoo rather than shut [...]

A Search Product CEO – Necessary To Win The Search Engine Game?

With Jim Lanzone being replaced as's CEO, I thought it time to do a piece that's been banging about in my head. Do successful search companies have to have CEOs or top execs who "grew up" from the search product side? The jury is probably still out, but it's interesting to look back at each of the major players and understand where those in charge have come from. Google No question -- both Google co-presidents Larry Page and Sergey Brin are search product folks. They literally built the first version of Google and were very involved with how the search engine developed in G [...]

Jim Safka To Replace Jim Lanzone As CEO Of

IAC,'s parent company, has announced that Jim Lanzone, the CEO of, will be replaced immediately by Jim Safka as the new CEO of Safka was previously the CEO of, IAC's online dating company, from 2004 to 2007. He will also retain his job at as CEO of Primal Ventures, an investment arm of Internet conglomerate IAC. Lanzone will leave to work as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Venture Capital firm Redpoint Ventures. He was appointed CEO of Ask on April 24, 2006, to replace Steve Berkowitz, who jumped ship to Microsoft at that time. I know Jim Lanzone will b [...]

From eTours To Commanding Jim Lanzone’s Story

I Fought the Law from the New York Times tells the story of how CEO Jim Lanzone abandoned pursuing a legal degree and learned his true passion was for internet companies. Lanzone attended Emory University's School of Law in Atlanta. He then worked for Justice Hugh P. Thompson at the Supreme Court of Georgia, and then had a summer job at law firm after his freshman year. But the law wasn't his thing, he wasn't excited with it. So he decided to go earn an M.B.A. degree, which he said made him see the world "in color." From there he had an internship at KnowX, which gave him the des [...]’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 [...]

Wedding Congrats For Sergey & Gary

Last weekend was apparently a big weekend when it came to weddings and search. Both big names in search got hitched -- Gary Price and Sergey Brin. No, not to each other (not that there would be anything wrong with that, of course!). ResourceShelf editor and search evangelist Gary Price tied the knot near Chicago last week. I, Barry Schwartz and Chris Sherman from Search Engine Land all had the great pleasure to attend and witness Gary and Lisa Cohen getting married. Mazel Tov! has pictures and video over here. Because of our close relationship with Gary, none of the Search Eng [...] Releases Executive Profiles Of Search Execs

Gary Price reports that released a database of top executives profiles, and part of that list includes many of the top executives from our beloved search engines. Here are quick links to some of those profiles of interest: Google (profile): Sergey Brin Larry Page Eric Schmidt Shirley M. Tilghman Arthur D. Levinson Michael Moritz L. John Doerr Paul S. Otellini Shona L. Brown George Reyes John L. Hennessy K. Ram Shriram Ann Mather David C. Drummond Yahoo (profile): Terry Semel Jerry Yang David Filo Patricia Cuthbert Edward R. Kozel Robert A. Kotick Vyomesh Joshi Michael [...]

Ask Ramps Up The Mystery Ads

First in the UK, Ask rolled out a guerilla marketing campaign aimed at sparking an "information revolution" to choose Ask over Google. Now a different yet still mysterious campaign is underway in the US by Ask. Valleywag reports about billboards on Highway 101 between San Francisco and San Jose saying "The Algorithm Killed Jeeves" [Ask's old mascot, when it was called Ask Jeeves] and "The Algorithm Is From Jersey" [where Ask's Teoma algorithm was developed, and where it continues to have a research center." Valleywag has pictures of the billboards. I like [...]’s CEO, Jim Lanzone, Calls Yahoo Paid Inclusion “Hypocritical”

In a comment left at the Stepforth blog, Jim Lanzone,'s CEO, has said that he considers paid inclusion a "dis-service". Jim explains that he finds it "hypocritical to charge for something we need to do anyway," i.e. crawl the web to find quality pages to present to the searcher. In addition, Mr. Lanzone explains that it "blurs the line" between "paid content and editorial content" making it hard for the searcher to possibly trust the search results. Lanzone does not go as far to accuse Yahoo of skewing the results in favor of paid inclusion results. Lanzone does say that "Paid Incl [...]

Bloglines Creator Mark Fletcher Resurfaces At Startupping

Mark Fletcher, creator of Bloglines and other startup ventures, has just launched Startupping, a "community resource created for Internet entrepreneurs by Internet entrepreneurs." Fletcher left last summer, after scaling Bloglines to handle the increased traffic the service attracted after he sold Bloglines to Ask in February 2005. Although the site is not specifically search related, Mark's first blog post features "the best decision and the worst mistake" from Searchblog creator John Battelle, Feedburner CEO Dick Costolo and others. The site also aggregates a great collection of ent [...]

Industry Moves: Peter Horan Goes To IAC

Peter Horan, who was the CEO until its acquisition by the New York Times and then moved west to head up small business portal, has now been appointed CEO of IAC Media & Advertising. According to the company, "The CEOs of the Media & Advertising businesses will now report to Mr. Horan, including Jim Lanzone of, Briggs Ferguson of Citysearch, Richard Stalzer of IAC Advertising Solutions, and Scott Garell of IAC Consumer Applications and Portals." I've met and talked with Horan who's a very smart and personable guy. But beyond this his appointment suggests a k [...]

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