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Jeeves Making A Come Back?


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#1 Guest_rustybrick_*

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 01:25 PM

Just blogged the news at SELand and I needed somewhere to rant with people who love Ask for the same reasons I do.

We saw it grow from nothing to something that really could compete on an algorithmic basis. The underdog.

But when the underdog gives up and sells out, it makes you feel rotten.

Why do I say Jeeves is coming back? Well, when Jeeves was around we had tons of ads above the organic results. It told me and most of us that (1) they needed to monetize the heck out of the engine and (2) a perceived feeling that Google's sponsored results were more relevant than their algorithms (which may have been the case back then to be honest).

Now, Ask.com has 5 ads for some queries on IE browsers (covered over here) and now we hear that they may drop the search tech team and syndicate Google.

If true, and it wouldn't surprise me - I feel a bit hurt. Coming back to the underdog selling out its fan base.

#2 bwelford

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 01:31 PM

I've always had a great affection for Ask/Teoma for its technical competence. Unfortunately they have not been the focus of the accountant-based IAC money machine. So it's not surprising to see this happening. If only the money-making machine worked as well as the Ask/Teoma engine.

#3 Guest_joedolson_*

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 05:02 PM

Man, that's sad. I hope it doesn't prove to be the case --- but I can easily see Barry Diller driving the engine in that direction.

#4 cre8pc

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 03:28 PM

Update!

IAC Cuts 8% Of Ask.com & Kills Search Engine

Wall Street Journal reports IAC has cut 8% of Ask.com's workforce, by letting go 40 people. Not only that, the Wall Street Journal says IAC is changing the strategy of the search engine to "focus to better answering search queries posed as questions."

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 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.




Gary Price leaves - All Things Must Pass; Moving On from Ask.com

Earlier this afternoon I learned that Ask.com is taking the company in a new and different direction and I will not be a part of it.



#5 Guest_rustybrick_*

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 03:31 PM

Jeeves is coming back... Ask.com is going backwards. How many of you feel betrayed?

#6 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 03:43 PM

What the heck does "become a Q&A engine for married women" mean? Is that just a derogatory description of a bad search engine, or is it going to be focused on that group of users, or what? Also, did Ask describe it that way, or is that just the reporter's description? In other words, if I'm going to be offended, do I have a reason to be, and if so, who should I be mad at?

:lol:

#7 mvandemar

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 04:01 PM

Barry... your latest headline on this, namely "IAC Cuts 8% Of Ask.com & Kills Search Engine", reads as if you are saying that they are for a fact dumping their search engine... that is, unless you are using "kills" as a figure of speech, as in "this is the beginning of the end".

I do not have a WSJ subscription, so cannot see the full article, but nothing I did read seems to support the assertion that they are dropping Ask as a search engine... however, based on all of the buzz I can say with a fair degree of certainty that most people are taking your words literally, and because they are coming from you, taking for granted that they are fact.

Considering this is a direct contradiction to what Nicholas Graham, their spokesperson, gave you in his statement:

I wanted to get back to you about the false rumors flying about regarding Teoma. Bottom line: they are just flat-out not true. Our Teoma technology will continue to power search engine results on Ask.com. That's really all there is to it. I hope that helps to clarify things.


could you maybe clarify what you are saying? I mean, is it editorial opinion on what the end result will be? Or is there info not available to the general public you could perhaps provide a quote from, to back that statement up?

Thanks.

-Michael

#8 cre8pc

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 04:20 PM

I can't see the whole WSJ article either...

Let's see...Gary Price is moving on. He seems content with that.

Teoma is staying.

Q and A style returns

I don't think Ask is going anywhere but there is a lot of change in the air.

What it morphs into is what I'm curious about. It's present format is sweet. Hate to see it mucked up.

#9 Guest_rustybrick_*

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 05:30 PM

The article says Ask.com will be focusing on women who are searching for questions, questions about health and entertainment.

paidContent.org adds that it is likely that Ask.com will start to experiment using Google's search technology to power the engine - to save costs and cut more people.

I have been tracking Ask.com for years - you can't take one article and go with that. You have to look at a bunch of articles, history and the trend.

It seems like IAC will stop investing in the search engine and create a niche engine for women searchers asking questions.

The women here are not Ask.com's core searcher. It is not a derogatory statement, it is how Ask.com classifies their core market.

#10 Guest_rustybrick_*

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 05:42 PM

A touching post by Lisa Barone at http://www.bruceclay...bye_askcom.html

Gone is the progress we’ve seen over the last year. Gone is the best blended search platform of all four major search engines. Gone is the pioneering engine that Google and Yahoo used to steal hot ideas from. Gone are the ideas we were promised to us for the future, promises that were led and rooted in Jim Lanzone. Everything Ask heads loved about Ask.com has been taken away.



#11 mvandemar

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 05:50 PM

I understand no set of facts exist in a vacuum, but switching focus is an entirely different beast than dumping their core technology, and paidContent.org did not say that it was likely, they said it was one possibility, and that was the exact rumor that Ask's rep refuted, wasn't it?

I mean, this statement:

It seems like IAC will stop investing in the search engine and create a niche engine for women searchers asking questions.

Is an incredibly far cry from this one:

IAC Kills Ask.com Search Engine

Which is how your headline is being interpreted. Maybe you can't take one article and go with it... but I'm going on everything you provided to back up what you said, and you didn't present what you said as editorial opinion, you presented it as historical fact, as in it's a done deal, Ask.com is dead as a search engine.

What Lisa wrote shows that people take what you say as gospel, btw. Ask died today because you said so.

-Michael

#12 Guest_rustybrick_*

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 06:00 PM

So my word isn't good enough for you?

If not, let's look at http://online.wsj.co...3155910833.html

"Mr. Safka outlined a new strategy for the search engine that aims to increase the loyalty of its core customers. Instead of trying to build products that would appeal to "the digerati" or "West Coast elite," as Ask had been, he wants to focus Ask on meeting the needs of its core audience, predominantly women who use the site to ask questions about topics like entertainment and health."

He said himself, they will stop building out technology for "the digerati" and focus on a site "site to ask questions about topics like entertainment and health."

You have to understand that IAC is feeding the media this stuff. Trust me, the Ask.com search innovation is seriously at risk. I would put money on it that you will see Google powering the search engine in the upcoming months. IAC has set everything up to flow that way and in my opinion, it will happen.

You don't have to go by "my word," but that is up to you. This is based on more than a hunch.

#13 mvandemar

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 06:11 PM

Barry, I read that quote on paidcontent.org... that still doesn't support you said, at least not in the way you said it.

You made a statement of fact not supported by the evidence you presented is all I am saying. I mean, it may very well have been prophetic for all we know, and Ask could die tomorrow from the moves they did make that those articles all discuss. Who knows.

-Michael

#14 Guest_rustybrick_*

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 06:19 PM

Too bad we are only hearing statements from the IAC team.

Just got stats showing Safka is twisting the truth... Hitwise just sent this to me, b/c I requested it...

"As of the four weeks ending 3/1/2008, 57.85% of U.S. visits to Ask.com were from Females."

I believe comscore's figures at 54-56% female.

57% not 65%, that is a huge difference.

#15 mvandemar

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 06:29 PM

Quantcast is reporting their women audience only slightly over the Internet average as well, unless I am reading that chart wrong:

http://www.quantcast.com/ask.com

-Michael

#16 Guest_rustybrick_*

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 06:44 PM

I really think my title threw people off. Technically, IAC is not dropping the search engine. They are however changing the focus of the search engine to not compete against Google, that is clear and supported in the article.

However, I wouldn't be surprised if Google powers Ask.com within the year.

#17 IncrediBILL

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 06:53 PM

If they aren't competing with Google they might as well close up and fire everyone now.

It's silly, it's stupid, it's a waste of time.

I was always a fan of Jeeves until it jumped the shark, it never came back.

Buh bye Ask,

#18 that-damn-silver-guy-again

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 07:18 PM

ask - vandalsim

Their downfall began last year with a viral marketing campaign which promoted vandalism.

Ask.com refused to acknowledge or deal with their campaign that led to thousands of pounds of clearing up their stickers, posters, graffiti etc.
Maybe a covert counter campaign was launched in reprisal - with seemingly stunning effect:-)

Goodbye Ask.com

Edited by that-damn-silver-guy-again, 11 March 2008 - 07:24 PM.


#19 Guest_rustybrick_*

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 06:53 AM

That vandalism makes no sense, why would they do that.



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