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 Adds Sitemaps Autodiscovery Support

It appears that Ask.com is now implementing support for the Sitemaps protocol that they got behind back in April. One of our readers commented here notifying us that Ask.com added a pinging service for autodiscovery. Checking further, I found the details on how to ping Ask.com is its Webmaster Help documents. In addition, try this link you can see how an example pinging attempt looks. How does it work? From Ask's help files: Once you have prepared the sitemap, add the sitemap auto-discovery directive to robots.txt as follows: SITEMAP: http://www.the URL of your sitemap here.xml The sit [...]


Mossberg, Ask.com “Goes Much Further” Than Google

Ask.com Takes Lead In Designing Display Of Search Results by Walter Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal reviews Ask.com's new 3D look. Mossberg gave Ask.com great reviews, comparing Ask.com's three-pane approach to Google's Universal Search approach. Mossberg said Ask.com "took greater strides" than Google with their user interface. The new Ask.com user interface makes for a "better advance in unifying" the different levels of vertical search options available to the searcher, said Mossberg. He explained that this makes "search results easy to navigate and use" than Ask.com's competitors. [...]


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. [...]


Ask.com’s Usability Architect: Exclusive Interview With Michael Ferguson

I love an underdog, especially a smart underdog. So I’m definitely rooting for Ask.com, 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 Ask.com 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 [...]


Goodbye Teoma Algorithm, Hello Edison, Says Ask.com

Jim Lanzone, CEO of Ask.com, has confirmed with me that Ask.com is working on Edison. Edison is the code name behind merging of Ask.com's two different search technologies they own, Teoma and Direct Hit. The name comes from inventor Thomas Edison, who worked out of New Jersey where's Ask's Teoma technology came from and where it still maintains a research base. Jim would not give me more information beyond that. I did speak with Apostolos Gerasoulis who leaked this information this morning, where he explained that they will be using Direct Hit's click popularity technology with Teoma's "sub [...]


Ask.com’s CEO, Jim Lanzone, Calls Yahoo Paid Inclusion “Hypocritical”

In a comment left at the Stepforth blog, Jim Lanzone, Ask.com'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 [...]


Finding Search Engine Freshness & Crawl Dates

A reader emailed me today noticing that Google was showing a date next to his listing, which made me think this was a good time to revisit how, when and where search engines show crawl dates for pages. These dates are a useful way for site owners to understand how often they are being revisited or for anyone to "squeeze the loaf" of a search engine to see how fresh it is. Here's a search engine-by-search engine rundown on date display. I'll also cover how we've sadly lost crawl dates being embedded next to listings, over the years. But that's not all! Read now and you'll even [...]


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