Lot’s of talk related to search engine Ask lately. First there were rumors that Ask would be laying off some of its workforce and abandoning the Teoma technology they had worked so hard on the last few years. Then Ask responds and calls the rumors false. Those of us who are cheering Ask on in the battle for search market share breathed a sign of relief… but not for long. The next day a story breaks reporting that Ask has laid off 8% of their workforce (40 jobs) and that they were changing the strategy of the search engine to “focus to better answering search queries posed as questions.” This was followed by a report that Ask would become a search engine geared towards married women.
If that wasn’t enough drama, today we hear from Ask once again claiming that despite all the rumors and speculation, they remain committed to search. Are you confused? I know I am.
Anyone who is into link building knows that Google has declared a war of sorts on paid links, looking to punish both those who buy and sell them. Vanessa Fox has put together an excellent review of the “paid links war” as it unfolded in 2007. With that review, she wanted to learn how the other three major search engines felt about paid links. At the writing of her post, Yahoo and MSN failed to comment. Ask did and their response was quite refreshing.
Ask has made some pretty significant changes over the last year and a half. First they got rid of the butler and now they have gone 3D. This new three dimensional version not only includes a major overhaul of the home page as well as the way search results appear, they have also added a laundry list of new features and resources. The company is calling this release as a “major leap forward” for search which includes a bold three-panel interface (taken from the experimental Ask X) that integrates more multimedia content, including images, videos, music files, as well as more structured text-based content.
I don’t know how I missed this. Possibly because the day it was posted was my birthday and I was out of the office most of the day. What I am referring to is a post on the Stepforth blog by Ross Dunn announcing Yahoo!’s revamping of their paid inclusion program. Even had I come upon the news, I probably would have merely yawned because really, who cares about their paid inclusion program anyway? Instead of revamping it, they should killing it.
I came across an interesting interview today conducted with Ask’s CEO, Jim Lanzone. This among conversation on the web this week that search marketers are beginning to take more notice of Ask when implementing their SEO strategies. I have always liked Ask, even when the butler was on board and have always included them in any SEO strategy.