Diller: Ask.com Was The Little Search Engine That Couldn’t

At one time, IAC's CEO Barry Diller thought his Ask.com search engine could take on Google. But Diller effectively threw in the towel yesterday on an investors call. Diller downplayed Ask.com's role in the over IAC company but said he ultimately failed at thinking Ask.com 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 [...]

Ask Comes Full Circle With “Q&A” Offering

As Matt posted earlier this evening Ask is in beta on a new approach to search, or perhaps more accurately: a return to an earlier approach but with greater experience and sophistication. The IAC-owned company is returning, conceptually, to its origins as a question & answer engine, when human editors were involved. This has been in the works since last year when Ask was calling it "social search." The company is making a serious bet that "Q&A" can be a differentiator for Ask and provide new appeal for the engine, which has seen flat-to-modestly-declining traffic over the past two y [...]

The New Ask.com: A Little Bit Search, A Little Bit Answers

As we (and others) hinted a couple weeks ago, Ask.com is re-launching as a cross between a traditional search engine and the question-and-answer service that it was back in the site's heyday. NOTE: SEE OUR FOLLOW-UP PIECE, Ask Comes Full Circle With "Q&A" Offering The new Ask.com homepage represents a pretty dramatic change. Search is still front and center, but in order to focus on the Q&A aspect, Ask says all users will now see the "Question of the Day" feature; a section of "Popular Questions" is also featured prominently on the home page. The look-and-feel changes are [...]

Ask to Introduce New Q&A Engine Soon

Ask.com was arguably the original Q&A engine. Now the site is seeking to introduce a new product, which leverages both its search assets and the community. We were approached but we've yet to formally speak to someone from IAC about the forthcoming launch. However, Silicon Alley Insider today exposes the PR email outlining the plan: On July 29th, Ask will announce a brand new product aimed at delivering the best answers to people’s questions through a unique hybrid approach (think: a little bit search, a little bit social) that is not available on the Web today. As you know, the se [...]

Ask.com’s Founder Of Search Technology Leaves: Apostolos Gerasoulis

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

Bing It? “Bring It,” Says Google

I got a chuckle out of this on Google. Do a search for bing it, and Google comes back with a suggestion of "bring it." Is Google telling Bing to bring it on? It's all automated, of course. This is just Google's spelling correction kicking in. Many more people are likely typing in "bring it" than "bing it," so Google's trying to do the right thing and help them. But it's still funny to me. Over at Ask, the same thing happens there: So see, it's not just Google being mean to Bing. Yahoo also does something similar. It brings back results for for both "bring it" and "bing it" [...]

Happy Father’s Day 2010 Logos From Google & Others

Today is Father's Day in many countries and we wanted to wish you a Happy Father's Day. Here is a collection of the various logos from the search industry celebrating the day. Google: Yahoo Animated: Yahoo Static: Baidu: Sogou: DogPile: Bing: Ask.com: Cre8asite Forums: Search Engine Roundtable: [...]

When Google Fails, Yahoo & Ask.com Win: Study

With Google owning the search landscape, the best other search engines can hope for these days is to be a searcher's second-favorite option -- the place we go when Google doesn't help us find what we're looking for. According to a new report from Chitika, Google users go to Yahoo and even Ask.com much more often than Bing. Chitika studied the search behavior of more than 39,000 users visiting sites across its online ad network -- users who searched for the same exact word/phrase in a short period of time before hitting one of Chitika's sites. Users who first searched at Google chose [...]

Google FIFA World Cup & Jacques Cousteau Logos

Today, Google is showing you two basic logos or "Doodles" based on the country you live in. Most people outside the U.S. are seeing a FIFA World Cup logo for the start of the tournament, while people in the U.S. are seeing Jacques Cousteau Doodle for his 100th birthday. The main FIFA Google Doodle is this one: But Google is showing a special FIFA Doodle in South Africa & France for Doodle 4 Google competition winners. Google France: Google Korea: Google South Africa: The Google U.S. Doodle for the 100th birthday of Jacques Cousteau looks like this: [...]

Memorial Day 2010 & Logos From The Search Industry

Memorial Day is being celebrated and commemorated today in the United States. Since it is a holiday, please expect lighter coverage here today than on a normal day. Below are the logos, themes and the Google ribbon for the special day: Google's Ribbon/Badge: Yahoo (animated): Bing: Ask.com: DogPile: Cre8asite Forums: Search Engine Roundtable: [...]

Google’s Mother’s Day & Peter Pan Logos

Today is Mother's Day in the U.S. and in many other countries, but it is also Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie's 150th birthday. To celebrate the day, Google has a Mother's Day logo in the countries celebrating Mother's Day today and Peter Pan logo (along with Wendy, John, Michael and yes, Tinkerbell) in other countries, such as the UK. Here are the logos: Here are some other Mother's Day Logos from around the web: Yahoo: Bing: Ask.com: Baidu: Orkut: Sogou: Cre8asite: Search Engine Roundtable: Also make sure to see Those Speci [...]

Teoma Returns As Ask.com’s “Simple Interface”

Sean Carlos wrote that Teoma.com is now back in action. Teoma was acquired by Ask Jeeves back in 2001 and ultimately became the search technology behind Ask's search results. Teoma was founded by Professor Apostolos Gerasoulis from Rutgers and Professor Tao Yang from UCSB helped with the technology, known as Subject-Specific Popularity. Ask.com renamed Subject-Specific Popularity to ExpertRank later on. Eventually, Teoma went away but sometime last month, Teoma returned. Sean Carlos asked IAC, the parent company of Ask.com and Teoma, why the return and they told him they wanted to giv [...]

Google’s 2010 Earth Day Logo Impresses

Google posted their Earth Day doodle today and the overall impression from most people I see talking about it (via Twitter, forums and so on) is impressive. Here is a picture of Google's 2010 Earth Day logo. Google was not the only one with a special theme or logo for Earth Day. We have logos from Bing, Yahoo, Dogpile and others. Here is what I found today. Yahoo: Google's Orkut: Bing: Ask.com is running a full skin ad, which is earthy, but yet an ad for Avatar: Dogpile: Cre8asite Forums: Search Engine Roundtable: I also have an ar [...]

Google’s St. Patrick’s Day Doodle & Logos From Others

If you visit Google.com today you may see a Google Doodle (logo) for St. Patrick's Day. Here is a picture of the special St. Patrick's Day Doodle for this year: Google is not the only search engine with a special logo. Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com all have logos. I have some additional logos from others in the industry at the Search Engine Roundtable. Also, if you want to see the St. Patrick's Day logos from the past 6 years or so, you can see them at 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004 archives. [...]

Why Is Ask Really Hiding Their Ads Referrer Data

I reported at the Search Engine Roundtable that Ask Sponsored Listings has changed how they handle sending referrer data to webmasters. From now on, they are basically not sharing the page of origin with the webmaster. Why? Ask said they have moved to a new system named PureLeads. What is Pureleads? The FAQ explains: Pureleads is our new proprietary technology that blends advanced click purification methods and automated campaign traffic management. The Pureleads system protects your campaign from unpredictable delivery spikes, automated click traffic and suspect traffic sources. The [...]

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

IAC, the parent company of Ask.com, 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 Ask.com, 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 Ask.com. The exact amount was $1,020.6 million loss on the search busin [...]

Ask.com Puts Its NASCAR Sponsorship Back In Garage

Ask.com 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 Ask.com. 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 [...]

Dress Up Ask Jeeves In The UK

Ask UK (uk.ask.com) has a new game where you can dress up the lovable Jeeves character. Just search for [want to dress up jeeves] at Ask UK and you will be presented the opportunity to place khakis on the famous butler. You can dress up Jeeves at uk.ask.com/dressupjeeves. UTalkMarketing.com reported "Gieves and Hawkes together with Ben Sherman have supplied virtual outfits that allow users to transform butler Jeeves from his usual smart two-piece suit." The Flash dressup wizard was created by Framestore and Moonshine and offers 100,000 different outfit combinations. Here is a video o [...]

Martin Luther King Day Logos From Google & Others

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr day and the search engines are showing off their logos and themes for the special day. Below you can see logos from Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines. In addition, check out the 2009 and 2008 logos, if you missed them the previous years. Google's MLK Logo: Yahoo's Flash MLK logo: Bing's MLK Theme: Ask.com's MLK Theme: DogPile: Search Engine Roundtable: [...]

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 [...]

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