Happy Independence Day & Search Logos

Happy July 4th everyone! I wanted to share with you some of the logos from across the industry and let everyone know that we won't be posting much here today. So see you all Monday and enjoy the day! Here is a collection of logos from the search industry for July 4th: I have more details and history at the Search Engine Roundtable on the July 4th logos from past years. [...]

Sorry, Ask.com — I Still Don’t Think You’re Focused On Core Search

Back in March, after Ask.com seemed to be pulling away from search to some people, I wrote that Ask "killed the search engine," was no longer an innovator in search, and couldn't expect to compete against Google. Recently, I spoke with Ask.com CEO Jim Safka, who hoped to change my mind. He failed to do that, in the end. Safka's been reaching out to a number of the "digerati" who came out against Ask after the March news. Lisa Barone, who wrote about giving up on Ask, was contacted. Danny Sullivan's had a call and plans to write a piece from that. My turn was about three w [...]

2008 Memorial Day Search Logos

Today is Memorial Day, so we plan on keeping it light over here at the blog today. I have a post at the Search Engine Roundtable, with a collection of logos I have found from the various search related companies and blogs for the special day. Here is a single picture with those logos and themes all in one image: Yes, Google does not have a logo up for the day. I can't remember Google ever having a special logo for Memorial Day. [...]

IAC To Launch Startups, Take A Demographic Approach To Search

The Wall Street Journal reports that IAC, parent of Ask, is preparing to launch a number of startups after its spin off of some of its traditional media properties. Among the new sites is RushmoreDrive, a niche search engine targeting African Americans. What's interesting is its demographic approach to search. After the departure of Ask CEO Jim Lanzone, new CEO Jim Safka said that the engine would be explicitly targeting women, who were a disproportionately large part of its user base. Recently Yahoo also launched "Shine", a search and portal subdomain targeting women. So-called "vertical" [...]

Obit: A West Coast Digerati Deadpools Ask.com

Goodbye, Ask.com. You caught my eye back in 1997 as an unusual meta search engine that asked questions to get answers. By 1998, I counted you alongside Google and Direct Hit as shining examples of what to watch in search. You'd dumped depending on others for search results and started providing answers using your own human editors. I hung with you over the years, cheered when you acquired the impressive Teoma crawler in 2001. I was thrilled when you alone among the major search engines dumped the traditional search metaphor for the Ask3D view last year. Now you're just for women, apparently. [...]

Google Logo & Others Say Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Google and other search engines and search blogs have special logos and themes up for the day. Here are logos from Google, Yahoo, Ask, DogPile, and others in the search industry: Those are some of the logos from the search engines. I have a larger collection of logos from other search engines and search blogs at the Search Engine Roundtable. Plus, at that post I have links to past Valentine's Day logos from the search industry from 2007, 2006, and 2005. Google Blogoscoped shows that Google has a special pink Google Docs template for the day, and [...]

FTC Complaint Filed Over AskEraser: “Unfair & Deceptive”

Photo adapted from one by Hans Engel Some felt Ask.com won the privacy oneupmanship that went on last year when it rolled out Ask Eraser, a tool promising to stop recording any information about someone doing a search. But questions quickly came up, including whether the tool helped at all, considering that query data was still being sent to Ask's paid listings partner, Google. A privacy group complained to Ask last month, and now Wired reports that it and others have filed a formal complaint with the US government. Ask.com's Privacy Tool Tracks Users, Groups Tell Feds covers how the El [...]

Holiday Search Engine Logos For 2007

Happy Holidays, Search Engine Land Readers! The logos above are from Google, Yahoo, and Ask.com for the 2007 holiday season. Google will actually be uploading a new holiday logo each day, Yahoo's logo is very animated, and Ask.com has snowflakes falling from the sky! Plus, as always, '07 Holiday Season Logos & Themes From Search Industry shows the logos from other search related sites, including Dogpile at the Search Engine Roundtable. Happy holidays! [...]

Privacy Group Finds Flaws In AskEraser’s Privacy Tool

Group says Ask's privacy feature is flawed from News.com reports that the Electronic Privacy Information Center has found a few flaws in AskEraser, Ask.com's new privacy searching feature. The three problems are: AskEraser uses an opt-out cookie instead of an opt-in cookie. Ask stores the time that the user enables AskEraser, which can potentially be used to figure out searches done while using AskEraser. Ask's FAQs says that if a court order requires them to turn over search data, even with AskEraser on, they will. My main issue is with the last point is that Ask has this line in the [...]

Ask.com Launches AskEraser Giving Searches Ability To Search Anonymously

Ask.com has launched AskEraser, giving searchers the ability to search anonymously. Ask.com told us about this tool back in July, and six months later, it's now live for all searchers to use. When a searcher activates AskEraser, Ask will stop recording the searcher's search queries and cookie information. This information includes IP address, User ID, Session ID, and the complete query text. AskEraser is available across many of Ask.com's properties, including Web search, image search, AskCity, news search, blog search, video search, and Maps & Directions. How does it work? At the top r [...]

Jennifer Lopez Tops Ask.com’s Pregnant Stars Of 2007 List

Ask.com is next to release their top ten search list for 2007. Ask.com actually has a category for "Top Celebrity Searches of Pregnant Stars in 2007," where Jennifer Lopez is the most searched for pregnant star in 2007 at Ask.com. Below are the remaining categories for the lists: Ask.com's Top Real Deal Searches of 2007 1. MySpace 2. Dictionary 3. Google 4. Themes 5. Area Codes 6. Cars 7. Weather 8. Games 9. Song Lyrics 10. Movies Ask.com's Top Presidential Candidate Searches of 2007 1. Barack Obama 2. Hillary Clinton 3. Fred Thompson 4. John Edwards 5. Mitt Romney 6. John [...]

Building Ask’s Traffic: It’s The Toolbar, Stupid!

Can Zwinky Save Ask? from the New York Times reports that the real winner in growing Ask.com's search volume growth is their FunWebProducts division. The division launched a product named Zwinky.com that enables people to create avatars of themselves online. They then place these avatars throughout their social network pages. The thing is, the only way to do this is to download the FunWebProducts toolbar, which in turn has a large search box defaulting to Ask.com Zwinky.com is growing with the Zwinktopia virtual world. Zwinktopia allows you to use Z-bucks to buy clothing for your avatars [...]

Microsoft To Anonymize Log Data; Calls For Industry Standards Along With Ask.com

First Google, then Ask.com and now Microsoft have jumped onto the privacy protection train. Late yesterday, Microsoft announced that it was going to follow Google's lead and anonymize search log data after 18 months. In addition, it has partnered with Ask to call for an industry effort to develop privacy principles. There's a tinge of PR stunt in this, but if looking for a PR edge will get the search engines moving, I suppose that's a necessary evil. Below, a look at what Microsoft is doing, the industry call and lots of perspective (plus a timeline) on how we got here. From Microsof [...]

Ask.com To Launch AskEraser To Erase Search History & New Data Retention Policy

Ask.com announced that they will be launching "AskEraser" in the near future, a feature to allow you to erase your search history. Ask also said it will be implementing a new 18 month data retention policy, where searches will be disassociated from IP addresses or cookies that might possibly be used to link them back to searchers. "AskEraser is a great solution for those looking for an additional level of privacy when they search online," said Jim Lanzone, CEO of Ask.com, in a press release on the news. "Anonymous user data can be very useful to enhance search produc [...]

Ask.com: Today’s Google Free Alternative

Today's the day we're encouraging people to try Ask.com as part of our Google Free Fridays in July. But why is it happening on a Monday? Because I'm a day behind, as I explained last Friday. Shush, you! What's that? Why do we hate Google so much to be promoting Google Free Fridays? We don't, silly. See my past post on the concept. The short story is, understanding alternatives is good, because there might be something better, or you might want to be reassured you're already making the correct choice. Below, a guide to Ask. Similar to the AOL search guide I did our AOL day, there's some ligh [...]

Google Free Friday: Ask.com’s Turn Moves To Next Monday!

Remember Google Free Friday? Last week, I posted info to help those trying out AOL as an alternative. Today, it was supposed to be Ask.com's turn. But I'm afraid the launch of our Sphinn social news and sharing site has put me behind. So I'm moving Ask's Google Free Friday turn to next Monday. IE, on Monday, July 16 -- Ask is the search engine to use at an alternative to Google. As with AOL, we'll be posting a short guide to Ask's search services shortly, to help you prepare. [...]

London Car Bombs: The Big Fat Search Failure

I was in London last night right smack in the area where a large bomb was defused this morning. Naturally, I was curious about what exactly had happened. I hit the news sites, but then I wondered what would happen for those searching generally for information using search engines. Both Google and Ask.com in particular have promised that their new search interfaces should naturally get us relevant news information. Both failed, as far as I'm concerned. Let's take a look. To test, I looked for [london bombs]. I think that's a reasonable way many people would be seeking information about what hap [...]

Looking At Ask.com’s New Home Page Features

The Ask.com blog posts today about Ask's new home page, which they are particularly proud of, and I think rightly so. They talk about their icons, suggest feature and skins, all of which are worth a quick peek. The nice neat new icons are consistent across the interface and across country versions. There is the "suggest as you type" feature, although there's nothing particularly new about that, since Google has had Google Suggest for some time now. Interestingly though, Google Suggest kicks in immediately you start typing, while with Ask, it takes two characters. However, from a very brief [...]

Ask Relaunches: Now “Ask 3D”

Chris Sherman once compared Ask.com 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. [...]

Industry Moves: Peter Horan Goes To IAC

Peter Horan, who was the About.com CEO until its acquisition by the New York Times and then moved west to head up small business portal AllBusiness.com, 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 Ask.com, 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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