Go Ahead… Ask Jeeves

Ask Jeeves is a top-20 web site according to Media Metrix. It received 12,984,000 unique visitors in October, proving its ability to capture users by providing a valuable resource. Because its traffic is so highly targeted, getting listed in this human directory database is important.

However, the site did not get nearly as many visitors as, say, Yahoo did, which received 55,138,000 unique visitors in October. So why is it so important to be listed on Ask Jeeves? Because its natural-language, question-answer format gives Ask Jeeves deeper insight into visitors’ interests and concerns, providing a highly targeted environment.

Let’s delve a little deeper into Ask Jeeves. (Some of the explanatory language is either paraphrased or quoted directly from the Ask Jeeves web site.)

Ask Jeeves directs users to relevant answers by using a combination of natural-language question answering, human editorial judgment, and its “popularity search technology.”

To begin with, when a user types a query into the “Ask” question box on top of the site, he or she is directed to answers through four different areas on the results page (not necessarily listed in order here). The top section of results for the query is pulled from a proprietary knowledge base. This knowledge base is compiled by over 40 resident human editors who have established strict guidelines for selecting a site as a match to a user’s query based on reviewing the contents of numerous other web sites.

In addition to the answers handpicked by the editorial staff, Ask Jeeves leverages its editors’ human input on site quality with an automated approach. Ask Jeeves’ patented popularity search technology automatically analyzes millions of previous Internet user choices to determine the most relevant sites to answer specific questions. The answers selected by the editorial staff and those generated by popularity technology include human insight and judgment.

Another set of results is selected by popularity technology and found by Ask Jeeves’ metasearch partners. Ask Jeeves includes results found by other search sites to provide the most relevant answers to users’ questions.

Finally, Ask Jeeves directs users to answers through its “targeting solutions” partnerships. Companies that have been identified as having high-quality, in-depth content on their sites can form strategic relationships with Ask Jeeves to have a presence in various ways on the ask.com results page.

Partnerships fall into one of the following categories:

  • The Ask Jeeves Knowledge Base Improvement Program: To strengthen and expand Ask Jeeves’ ability to provide relevant and quality answers, the editors identify web sites that provide “best in class” content. Ask Jeeves partners with these sites to tap into content expertise in particular areas.

  • Integrated Content Promotions: To provide users with rich, relevant responses, Ask Jeeves sometimes includes content taken directly from partner sites on the reply pages to user queries.

All partners must meet Ask Jeeves’ rigorous editorial and e-commerce guidelines regardless of financial relationship.

How to Get Listed in a Search on Ask.Com

It’s always a good idea to review the editorial guidelines, so here’s a recap of guidelines for Ask Jeeves.

The Editors’ Guidelines

Ask Jeeves maintains a proprietary knowledge base compiled by resident human editors who establish guidelines for the sites they select. All sites submitted should adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Load quickly, and be polished, easy to read, and easy to navigate.

  • Be well maintained and updated regularly.
  • Offer thorough and accurate information that answers a user’s question.
  • Offer additional links or information related to the user’s question.
  • Demonstrate credibility by providing author and source citations and contact information.
  • Sites and site features should be free and available without registration.

Guidelines for E-Commerce Sites

When you ask a question that may involve buying products or services, Ask Jeeves works to direct you to quality online shopping sites. All e-commerce sites appearing on Ask Jeeves at ask.com should meet the editorial guidelines listed above and the following standards:

  • Offer secure transactions (preferably by SSL/SET).

  • Provide disclosure policies for customer privacy, returns, exchanges, and other customer concerns.
  • Offer many types of the product, relevant brands, and/or an appropriate range of products.
  • Provide adequate product information.
  • Offer customer service by phone, preferably 24/7.
  • Be widely reputable and credible, as determined by BizRate.com, BBBOnLine (the Better Business Bureau’s web site), ePublicEye.com, other media, or Ask Jeeves’ in-house experiences.

To submit your URL for review, email url@askjeeves.com. I hope this provides you with the sufficient data to find yourself at ask.com.

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