Ask.com to Shut Down?

I wanted to make my readers aware of the latest buzz about the Ask.com search engine. An industry insider has shared with the Silicon Alley Insider that leadership might pull the plug on Teoma, the engine that powers Ask’s search, and just using Google. If that’s the case, it would eliminate a search engine from the running and web managers would only have to optimize for three different search engine algorithms, not four.

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4 Responses

  1. I would be surprised if they pulled the plug on Ask. Seems to me that’s the only engine that has a chance to “compete” with Google since the other two majors are completely inept and are now deciding if they will be teaming up up their ineptitude! As for optimizing for separate engines I wouldn’t recommend that. Optimize for Google and the rest will take care of itself. It’s pretty straightforward anyway. Update content, make it authoritative and useful, have strong calls to action and clean navigation, refresh page titles and descriptions and then link, link, link, link and link some more. Take care.

  2. I should clarify -Frank’s correct in that optimizing for search engines is pretty much the same for all, but if Ask.com shuts down, nonprofits potentially won’t need to worry about registering with the Local Search element, or watch their web reports to “make sure” that they are getting traffic from all four engines, they would only need to check that they are consistently getting traffic from three.

  3. Newest update about Ask.com:

    The Search Engine feature will shut down, and Ask will go back to its AskJeeves format:

    Ask’s new chief executive, Jim Safka said “as we revamped things, we had redundancies,” explaining they “are reorienting the company around” areas they can grow. So, in my opinion, instead of building out core technologies to compete in the search space, Ask.com will now go back to their Jeeves stature and become a Q&A engine for married women, its core audience.

    The article goes on to explain that the new focus will be on women searching for health and entertainment, so if you’re a non-profit that provides health information, Ask.com should still be on your radar…

    More info here:

    http://searchengineland.com/080304-145509.php

  4. another update (this is from Forbes.com):

    nterActiveCorp’s search engine Ask.com wants to stay in the search game, even as it prepares to thin its workforce.

    Wednesday, a spokeperson for the Oakland-based search company confirmed that 8% of Ask’s workforce is being axed, totalling some 40 firing. However, he also said that Ask will continue to be a contender in the search category and is going to focus on its strengths to grow.

    The Ask representative said that reports of the site becoming oriented towards older women are false and were fueled by an erroneous Associated Press article that has since been changed.

    http://www.forbes.com/technology/ebusiness/2008/03/05/iac-ask-update-markets-equity-cx_md_0305markets33.html

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