Upgraded Ask.com Seeks Everyday Searchers

  |  April 21, 2003   |  Comments

Best known for its Q&A format, the search firm improves search tools and processing speed to wean users off their Google habit.

After just four months of work, search specialist Ask Jeeves today unveiled a new version of its Ask.com site.

But the overhaul was anything but rash. Developers at the Emeryville, Calif., company pored over server logs and user surveys to ensure that the changes served a purpose.

"This is the first step in a new strategy to capitalize on search behavior," Daniel Read, Ask Jeeves' director of product management, told internetnews.com.

New tools are at the heart of the Ask.com upgrade. For example, a user might ask, "What is the capital of Turkey?" The answer, Ankara, is presented in a box atop of the result page, followed by links to related Web pages.

Other features help searchers accomplish tasks. Users checking local movie times are prompted for their zip code, which helps generate localized results.

Finally, the number 2 Web search company improved its keyword search capabilities in a bid to land users away from industry leader Google.

Some of Ask Jeeves improvements were the result of its September 2001 acquisition of algorithmic search engine Teoma.

"We are known for natural language question and answers and there is the perception that you can't do keyword search," Read said. "That's not the case. This is an everyday search engine."

Other improvements include cleaner pages (a Google hallmark). Tabs for news and pictures were downsized after researchers found they weren't used enough to justify their prominence.

Ask Jeeves also made some back-end upgrades, resulting in results being presented 50 percent faster than before. Previously, Read said most users characterized Ask.com's results as "adequate." Improving speed can only boost customers satisfaction, he said.

Ask Jeeves is gearing up its marketing machine after two very quiet years to promote its enhanced offering. Recent regional efforts such as signs in phone kiosks, bus shelters, have succeeded in driving up traffic, the company said.

A larger effort is coming from the company's new ad agency, San Francisco-based TBWA/Chiat/Day.

ClickZ Live San Francisco This Year's Premier Digital Marketing Event is #CZLSF
ClickZ Live San Francisco (Aug 11-14) brings together the industry's leading practitioners and marketing strategists to deliver 4 days of educational sessions and training workshops. From Data-Driven Marketing to Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email, this year's comprehensive agenda will help you maximize your marketing efforts and ROI. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kim MacPherson

Kim MacPherson is President and Founder of Inbox Interactive, a full-service email marketing agency specializing in promotional copywriting, HTML design, planning, and deployment/tracking solutions. Kim is also the author of "Permission-Based E-mail Marketing That Works!"

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

BigDoor: The Marketers Guide to Customer Loyalty

The Marketer's Guide to Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is imperative to success, but fostering and maintaining loyalty takes a lot of work. This guide is here to help marketers build, execute, and maintain a successful loyalty initiative.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

WEBINARS

Jobs

    • Interactive Product Manager
      Interactive Product Manager (Western Governors University) - Salt Lake CityWestern Governors University, one of the 20 largest universities...
    • SEO Senior Analyst
      SEO Senior Analyst (University of Phoenix (Apollo Education Group)) - San FranciscoSEO Senior Analyst   Position Summary...
    • SEM & Biddable Media Manager
      SEM & Biddable Media Manager (Kepler Group LLC) - New YorkAs an Optimization & Innovation Manager at Kepler Group, you will be on the bleeding...