Just back from the week off, and much is up in the search world. I’ll have a roundup later in the day, but the top news for now is Ask, which has declared its intention to become the Fox of the search engine world – in other words, to come into the game late, with low odds, and hope to strike ratings gold. We knew this play was coming – it was clear when IAC and Diller bought Ask. Now the company has declared. Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Ask.com. throws down the gauntlet in the release:
“People deserve a search engine that gives them the tools to get what they need faster, not just a bunch of links on a page. Ask.com takes search to the next level.”
You’re not sure they’re serious? Diller is keynoting this week’s SES conference, for goodness sake (I won’t be there, focusing on FM then traveling to London later this week). More on all of this in the Ask Blog here.
Gary Price, who is joining Ask from SEW, has some interesting thoughts here.
A summary of the news: As expected, Jeeves is history. It’s now Ask.com. Teoma.com is no more, it’s been rebranded as “ExpertRank”. Ask has a new homepage, a new customizable “toolbox” function, an upgraded Maps feature, and some other features which you can read about in their release here.
What I find interesting is Ask’s decision to compete based on differentiation of approach to sponsored listings.
From the release:
Ask.com now has the fewest ads of any major search destination on the first screen of results. With Smart Answers, Ask.com is also the only search engine to place editorial results above advertisements.
More on this as it develops.